Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Black sheep resto talents - and why you shouldn't (necessarily) write them off

It seems black and white with most talents.

This talent is good; this one is useless - don't even think of picking that up. Good talents, garbage talents. Take these talents. If you pick that one up, you're terrible. This one is mandatory; that one is a waste of points. Straight down the line. Simple.


If you take this talent, you're a bad druid.

Many people will categorically state a number of our talents to be "useless" or "terrible" for raiding. I'd like to talk about why I think it is a mistake to take these kind of statements as gospel. Most often they will be quite correct; but it's important that you make your own judgments and not just follow blindly the statements of others.
It is all too easy to rubber stamp an ability as "useless" because everyone says so - without considering and exploring the possibilities of how it might actually be an asset to your healing..

..or to another player, whose playstyle and content level do not match your own.

Now, obviously, many WoW blogs that set out to teach their respective classes are aiming at the raiding level of players, so most statements will be made with that in mind. If they state that a particular ability is bad, you can usually tack "..for PvE raiding" onto the end of the statement. And if you're getting your info from a knowledgeable and trusted site, then they're likely to know what they're talking about.

But I will always try to frame my statements and advice as "here's how I do it" rather than "here is the best way to do it, period." I prefer to give people options, rather than dictate what is right and what is wrong. Give them the pros and cons, and let them apply that to their own situation, and make up their own minds.


Be open to new ideas

As players, I think it's important to avoid developing long-term biases towards our talents and spells. Not only can this cause a lot of heartache and frustration if those talents and spells are changed, but it also makes you blind to the possibilities that some talents may give you for different encounters. I'm not here to force anyone to change their ideas; but I myself have changed the way I look at certain things, and it really opens your eyes to new strategies, styles, rotations, and gives you more ideas for how to adapt in particular situations. Abilities once labelled "garbage" might actually be incredibly useful if you open your mind to the possibility that they might not actually be ignored by default.
Remember when Regrowth was "bad" (expensive/ineffective/etc) and only bad healers used it (much)... and then with talent and encounter changes, suddenly it was THE go-to spell?

Remember when Rank 4 Healing Touch was almost our sole heal (until HoTs could stack)? Healing Touch all day? For many people it is now just an occasional clutch heal - and a running joke in my old guild. Doesn't get much airtime anymore, the old Healing Touch.

Remember when Lifebloom was so amazing, then it was nerfed, and changed in such a way that people had to change how it was used, and many even stopped using it altogether?

The point is that things are always changing; a talent that might have been considered useless 6 months ago might suddenly become super amazing after a patch, or extremely helpful for hard modes. Don't become too set in your opinion on what's terrible and what's good.. because changes to talents (or to gameplay and fights themselves, or the introduction of new content) may find it very hard to accept that you need to dust those spells and abilities off.

But as raiders - especially hard mode raiders - you should also be careful not to dismiss something as terrible; it might actually be awful for most fights, but incredibly powerful on one particular hard mode. You may think, as a min-max hardcore raider, that the widely-accepted cookie cutter builds are the best you can get - but you never know when something once labelled a waste of points will turn out to be valuable.

Keep an open mind, basically.


The pie is a lie (sometimes)

In particular I believe that it is far too easy for us to get caught up in meters, spell breakdowns and Recount pie graphs when deciding whether an ability is good or bad. It just doesn't work like that. We're not DPS classes; we can't just look at a spell, see that we cast it X times and got 7000hps out of it, and decide it's our best spell. A spell cast only a few times per fight may be just as crucial in downing that boss, but look terrible on paper because we only got 10k total healing out of it for the entire night.

It's important to look at all of the facts, and yes, meters and reports ARE important. But numbers aren't everything - and you should never simply look at a pie graph and decide that the smallest sliver represents a terrible ability. It just doesn't work that way. It's important to examine things from all angles.


Trash or treasure?

So let's talk about the black sheep talents that people are always beating on. I'm not talking about weighing up whether to drop a point in GotEM now that you have XYZ haste and a boomkin in every raid, or whether or not Nature's Grace will make you clip your Nourishes. I'm talking about talents that, at some point in their life, have been labelled "garbage".



Are they really terrible?
Should you give them a wide berth? Are they useless for everyone? Or do they have some merit?


Improved Tranquility



When I first hit 80, Keeva had 2/2 Imp Tranquility, despite the fact that most people said it was rubbish. Why? Because I was doing heroics, lots of heroics, and having a 4 minute CD Tranquility at my beck and call was sooooooo good.

But as I moved into raiding, it became less valuable, and rarely used.

The thing to remember about Tranquility is that it is usually most valuable for smaller groups, and least valuable in large raids. In a 5 man group, it heals every person (in range). The whole group, all at once. In a 10 man, it heals half the raid - still pretty great, and I would consider having Imp Tranquility if I was mostly doing 10 mans. In a 25 man though, it only heals 20% of the raid (at best), and since 25man raids often have people spread all over the place, its effectiveness is reduced even further. There are just fewer times that Tranquility (even if you DID have it on a 4 minute cooldown) is useful, in a 25 man raid setting.

But it's definitely NOT a garbage talent - if you spend more of your time in 5 and 10 man dungeons it can be really great. Definitely do not write this talent off if you are a more casual player and you mostly run in smaller groups.


Tranquil Spirit



Tranquil spirit reduces the mana cost of your Healing Touch, Nourish and Tranquility spells. Previously it only affected HT and Tranquility, so it was seen as a pretty bad talent (because HT and Tranquility are used rarely, therefore there was no real need to pour 5 points in to save mana). Now though, it also affects Nourish, and as more people are now using Nourish, it is better value.

Obviously, the more you use Nourish (and HT/Tranquility), the better the investment. But before you decide to invest 5 points in it because you're a tank healer and it makes sense - stop and ask yourself if you are having mana troubles first. It's kinda like "stacking" regen on your gear - you want enough regen to get you through the fight reliably - and not much more than that, or it's a waste. If you're not having mana problems, why would you need to invest 5 points in a mana-saving ability?

Also consider the encounters and your usual assignments. Your mileage may vary - particularly as you move into hard modes. Do the fights require lots of Nourishes? How does your usual assignment affect this? In the end, the question is - How much economy will I get out of these 5 points? Do I need a mana discount, or can I get by without it?

Now, I'm not saying this is a rubbish talent, not at all. If you are using these spells a lot, then it can be great. Just don't blindly say, "I use Nourish a lot so I should take this talent." This talent is basically only useful if you find that you need to save mana - otherwise it is poor to useless. Examine whether you need the mana savings first, or whether those 5 points (or some of them) may be more valuable placed elsewhere.


Natural Perfection



NP is generally seen as a PvP talent, and I think it's a pretty fair call. It is one of the talents that I would put at the bottom of my list of priorities.

Some people will argue that crit is more valuable to us now that we use more direct spells, which is true; and that it goes on to benefit us through other talent synergy, for example Living Seed and Nature's Grace, but unfortunately it is still of limited value - we are still first and foremost HoT healers, meaning that the majority of our healing does not benefit from our crit rating. Obviously, the more direct healing you do, the more you'll get out of your crit rating, but it is still towards the bottom of the list of our stat priorities, and 3 points is quite expensive for 3% crit.

BUT - Blizzard wants crit to be more useful for us as resto druids. There may be changes on the horizon that may make this talent more useful for PvE raiding. Sometime. Something. We're not sure. All we know is that they've said they want crit to be better for us.

For now, I treat this one as more of a "I have a point left over, 1% crit is better than an empty talent slot" kind of talent. I don't think it's BAD.. but I think there are better places to put your leftover points.

Future patches may dictate whether this talent becomes more attractive for us for PvE raiding.


Revitalize



The Revitalize rollercoaster. It's great. It's awful. It's broken. It's sex on a stick. It's garbage.

It's hard to keep up!

Certainly it's a better talent now that A) it's not bugged, and B) it also procs off your WG ticks. Team it up with the Wild Growth glyph to hit up to 6 people, and it really increases those procs, particularly if you are a dedicated raid healer. Remember, too, that it will return power to your target even if they are at full health and the HoT tick is counted as overheal.

The problem though is that far too many people simply compare it directly with other mana replenishment abilities. They size it up next to Replenishment and decide that it's terrible. The strength of Replenishment will dwarf Revitalize, true, but I think it's a mistake to just put them side by side.
Things to remember:
- It isn't overwritten by Replenishment - you can benefit from both, you know!
- Revitalize isn't just for mana users; it helps your melee boost their DPS through extra rage, energy, and runic power
- Smaller raids and guilds may not have the luxury of a Ret pally (etc)

Now, if you're usually on the tank, and you tend not to throw many raid heals around, Revitalize will probably be a waste of points for you. On the other hand, if you are more of a raid healer, you (and your raid) will benefit much more. It's not a constant pulse of power return, because it still relies on you to cast the spells, and then for the procs to happen - but if you're a raid healer you will likely have Rejuv and Wildgrowth on most of the raid a lot of the time, and there will be a fairly good return from it. Add the WG glyph, toss on the melee, and they will love you.

If you really can't spare the points, then you'll get by without Revitalize. The raid probably doesn't need it to succeed. But I enjoy being a utility/support class, and bringing abilities and talents that can benefit others in the raid (outside of me just keeping them healed).

As usual, I don't have numbers for you, but Dreambound has a great writeup from last week showing returns for different classes over the course of a raid night. Have a look, and hopefully it will give you a more practical view of how well it works. Usual disclaimer: your mileage may vary according to content and raid makeup.


Improved Barkskin



I wanted to give this one a quick mention. It is clearly directed at PvP, but it's a good example of unconventional talents that you just might find very useful for particular encounters.

In this case, I know that some high-end raiding druids are starting to use this for some hard modes, because they are finding the extra mitigation to be invaluable on high-damage fights. The less you have to worry about damage on yourself, the more you can concentrate on keeping the raid up.

This is a perfect example of why you shouldn't be too quick to label a talent as bad for PvE. It definitely has limited value most of the time - but shines in a few fights. Worth keeping in mind!


Living Seed



Many people don't really understand the value of this talent, to be honest. I see so many people spitting on it and saying it's useless.
It really drives me nuts when I see people whip out a chart or report and say something like, "Living Seed only made up 3% of my total healing for the night! It's terrible!"

You can't just look at it like that.

Druids don't have any "buffer" abilities. We don't have shields or anything we can put onto a tank to help reduce damage taken (as much as I have campaigned for a barkskin we can cast on others). Aside from HoTs ticking, this is our only buffer ability, such as it is.

Now, it's still probably not going to make up much of your healing "pie". It's never going to look very good when you size it up next to the numbers from Rejuv, Regrowth, Nourish, etc. But then, neither is Swiftmend, for example - but the majority of druids know how great Swiftmend can be in a clutch situation. It doesn't matter that it doesn't look very big on paper - but if you are in a tank healing situation, particularly where the tank is taking big, fast hits, then it can save them. Most people (I say most because I am aware of some druids who don't take Swiftmend) wouldn't toss Swiftmend out of their spec because it only made up a small proportion of their healing on the night. I believe it is the same with Living Seed.


Living Seed: A talent that only worked a measly 3% of the time,
or a spell that may have saved my tank a number of times tonight?

I compare it to Glyph of Rejuv. Pretty crappy on a whole lot of fights, but then simply amazing when the job calls for a bunch of Rejuvs on a whole lot of people who have low health for extended periods. Living Seed is mediocre-to-useless if you're a raid healer; but if you're a tank healer on a fight where he's taking chunky, sustained damage.. that's when it shines, because it has the potential to save that tank over and again. It may not do much in the way of total healed, but how many times is it going to help save your tank?

You have to weigh up how much tank healing you're going to be doing, and whether or not those buffer heals are going to make a difference *at the time*. I remember back learning Sarth3D and it I would watch 5K Living Seeds land on the main tank when he was very low on health, and it was a huge relief to have 5K "free" heals backing me up (and that was in Naxx gear - the seeds are going to be even bigger as we progress through content).

It's not how much healing it does on paper at the end of the day, it's whether that healing is enough to smooth the damage and get your tank through whatever hardmode it is that you're learning (or whatever). Are you going to be assigned in a way that will have you chain-casting direct heals on someone who is taking lots of damage? Or will you be healing raid members who won't usually be hit twice in the space of 15 seconds?

Like everything else, you need to weigh up whether those 3 points are worth investing, based on how much direct healing you'll tend to be doing, and whether or not that could potentially make or break the fight/s for you.



In conclusion

Throw out the pie (well, mostly) and consider the encounters themselves. Deep in resto we do have a number of talents that are situational - and each person will get different mileage out of those talents according to the raid content, their guild, the number and type of healers in your team, assignments, the tanks' gear levels, etc. If you look at all of these variables and still don't see much benefit in that talent, for YOU, then toss it and grab something else, absolutely. Just remember that numbers aren't always everything and you can't simply look at a graph and say "this spell is useless".

Remember that many blogs and resource sites are going to be dictating the best choices for min/max hardcore raiders. You need to consider whether this actually fits you, your guild, your raid size, and the level of content you are tackling.

Don't write things off permanently as garbage - they may turn out to be extremely useful down the track. A talent may be less useful for your current content and style, and you may get better economy and results out of investing your points into something else. But sometimes the bad PvE talents can be very useful (for example, the druids using Imp Barkskin for hardmodes)


A small disclaimer to round things out

I'm not here to tell you how to play.

I'm not trying to sell you on talents that are generally considered bad, or uneconomical. I'm not telling you to go invent some crazy unconventional spec and try to force it to work for you.

I do hope people understand the intent!

MOST of the time, cookie cutter builds and most talent advice will be sound. They will be the best route to take (especially if you min/max). I'd just like to urge people to keep an open mind, consider your personal circumstances, and don't write the "bad" talents off permanently.. because they can be useful.

Perhaps not most of the time, and not for min/maxers.. but they're not all entirely useless. Not always, not for everyone.

17 comments:

Kae said...

Very well-thought post :) I've getting a bit frustrated recently at the number of guides that throw revitalize in the dirt just because it's not the same level of mana regen as replenishment.

As for Living Seed, it often makes up more of my healing done in a given raid than HT... and NS+HT is a known life-saver that I'd feel naked without.

I do have a grudge against Tranquil Spirit though, cuz it's so weak point-for-point compared to Moonglow in the current game. :(

Delleyntar said...

Living seed i think is one of thebest things at this moment, With using regrowth and nourish (even the occasional rejuve and swift mend) this pops for me about 75% of the time, Tranquil spirit was a hard one to get rid of because i <3 it so much in heroics..(its my "lazy heal") But you 100% accurate it does nothing in raids. Great post!

Taz said...

This was a really helpful post. I started with a cookie-cutter resto talent spec, and I have lately been trying to really think about why I put points in a particular thing and not another. Conventional wisdom regarding these things should always change as the game does, but conventional wisdom doesn't always keep up with patch notes.

I keep trying to be a better healer, and a big part of that is examining how I play, my rotation, my spells, their effectiveness, and my spec/glyphs/etc. Any and all help to that end is very appreciated, so thank you very much for this excellent post!

Edgar said...

Wow just wow. I rarely comment on any blogs but you made me realize that I'm totally wasting points in tranquil spirit. I no longer have mana issues and never realized what a wasted talent it is to me now. thanks a bunch and keep up the good work!

Graylo said...

I think the term useless is over used when it comes to discribing some talents. All talents have some use that is benifical in some situations. However, I feel the need to comment on your "If you take this talent, you're a bad druid" section.

I completely agree that it is best to understand the reasoning behind a choice rather than accept the choice blindly, but you absolutely most understand the implications if you deside to go agains the conventional wisdom. There is a reason the conventional wisdom is accepted as gospel. Hundreds if not thousands of people have considered these issues, done math, and tested it in game. There are very good reasons why few raiding moonkin use Genesis or Bramble.

I don't have a problem with people going against the conventional wisdom. However, if you do you need to have solid reasoning behind it and be prepared to accept the consequenses. I probably have more mana regen then is needed, but I keep it for security and i'm not missing any important talents.

On the flip side, I've seen moonkin that refuse to use Eclipse, because they just don't like it. That is fine, they can play however they want, but If I was the raid leader they would not be invited to the raid.

Keeva said...

@Kae - thank you :) Re Revitalize - that's how I feel, too. I hate when people line up an apple and an orange, and try to compare them. Sadly, I suck at math (and openly admit it), so I can't spit out formulae and whatnot to "prove" to people that it is worth taking. I feel that lets me down sometimes.

Somehow I completely missed that great blog post about it (with graphs!!).. perhaps that was when I was sick last week and it slipped past me. I found it last night while I was writing my post and it was really interesting to see how much power everyone was getting.

Living Seed is probably the most raw nerve for me, I see so many people writing it off as garbage because "it only did X% of my healing over the whole night" (and they often include trash in those calculations..). Swiftmend often only does a small percentage of my healing, but I still know that it is valuable! But then, that's where you have to weigh up how much direct healing you'll be doing, what the damage signature on your target is going to be, and so whether a 3 point investment is good value.

Just drives me nuts when people look at a chart, see a tiny slice for Living Seed, and conclude that it must be useless.

As for Tranquil Spirit.. I don't mind it so much now that it also affects Nourish, so it's giving us a bit more value now. For me, it's not so much that it's weak.. but expensive. 5 points is a lot for a relatively small discount on one spell (let's face it, unless you're HT glyph spec, mana reduction to HT and Tranquility is not going to be a big deal).

--

@Dell - hi! :) I love Living Seed too. I love seeing a big crit heal go off, and then watching for the Living Seed on my scrolling text. In my not-so-great gear on Kiiva, they're hitting for around the 2500 mark, which is not too shabby for a heal that costs me no mana and no cast time. People just need to realise that LS's effectiveness changes with your assignment and content, it's not something you can simply say is bad because it does a small proportion of your overall healing. I know that it was invaluable to me on Sarth.. and while my new alliance guild is only just starting to run Naxx, it has saved my tanks any number of times.

Similarly, I'm currently using Glyph of Rejuvenation, which is generally seen as a PvE no-no until you get to special circumstances in Ulduar and hard modes, because it's so situational. But again, while my guild is brand new in Naxx and they tend to take more damage while they learn positioning etc, it's actually doing a pretty decent chunk of my healing, and I know that while everyone is learning not to stand in AoE, it is valuable. It's valuable for my situation. As time goes on, it will become less valuable, until I get into the harder content that makes it valuable again. Things change.. you can't just write something off as terrible permanently.

I hope most people see that this is the intent of my post, rather than an attack on cookie cutter builds and standard talent advice :)

Keeva said...

@Taz - I always try to stay open to new ideas. I make mistakes, but I'm always willing to try things and change my ideas if something works better than I thought. For example, at the beginning of Ulduar I dropped Nature's Grace after reading many, many people say that it was no longer very good to have (due to clipping). But I honestly felt like I was casting through molasses, it seemed to have a big impact. So I chalked it up to being too quick to believe what I read.. and put the points back in.

The point of my post was to get people thinking, to keep an open mind, and to always examine whether standard builds and advice really fit them and the content they are tackling *now*.

I will admit that I often get caught up in popular opinion, if only briefly. But I still try to look at things objectively. It's the reason I never get upset when we hear word of mana nerfs or yet another in a long string of Lifebloom nerfs. Because I know we will adapt, if we keep an open mind.

--

@Edgar - I'm so glad it helped you! I think talking about Tranquil Spirit in this post was walking a fine line. I didn't want to make anyone think I was telling them TS was bad.. I just wanted to open some eyes to the fact that if you don't need the mana, why would you have 5 points in a mana saving talent? It's just like our mana regen.. if you have 1000mp5, would you waste an equipment slot on a regen trinket?

To most people it's a pretty clear-cut talent. I use Nourish a whole lot, therefore this talent will benefit me because it benefits Nourish - which I use a whole lot. Right? Right.. but only if you NEED that mana discount. If your regen is healthy enough, and you find that Nourish "spam" doesn't make you hurt for mana.. are those 5 points better spent elsewhere?

(Usual disclaimer: YMMV according to gear, encounters, your assignments, etc etc. Plus, I wouldn't advise heavily stacking regen so you can deliberately ditch TS - that would be false economy. Hopefully people will take this advice with a grain of salt!)

Keeva said...

@Graylo - I absolutely agree that the conventional wisdom is a sound and solid foundation, and it's usually the best advice. It's quite different for DPSers and healers though, I think. DPS works on a foundation of numbers, it's all about doing whatever it takes and building a rotation that maximises your output. Unfortunately I think a lot of healers get caught up in this same strategy, and if something isn't putting out the big numbers, it must be bad.

I'm not talking about musing over whether taking a point in Celestial Focus will give you more throughput than putting it into (something else), for example. It's more about people writing off some talents based on numbers when the value of those talents cannot be measured purely through numbers alone. DPSers can quantify the value of a talent a lot more easily than we can, I think.

I've also seen people refuse to use what many people consider core talents, because they don't like it (!) or they have other reasons that they consider them a waste of points, or not fitting into their style. I've seen druids cling to Dreamstate and stack regen until it leaks from their ears... at the expense of anything else.

And the usual catch cry is, "I'm topping the meters in every raid, so I must be doing something right (so there)." - justifying weird choices through what is probably not the best data. But let's face it, if you are in a mid-tier (non min/max) guild, and you're topping the meters every night, how likely would it be for the raid leader to pull you up and ask you to change your spec to something more conventional because "ur doin it wrong"? You'll probably NEVER convince that person that what they are doing is bizarre, because they have decided that what they are doing is working, and they'll stubbornly stick to that idea.

You're right though - if you go against the grain, you will have to accept that some guilds are going to knock you back unless you change your spec (just as many hardcore guilds will force you to min/max your professions). Some people can handle that.. others get really defensive :P

I will always fondly remember having Balance points down to Insect Swarm, back when most other druids went full resto. I will always smile when I think of the other druids failing on Leo because they couldn't kill their demon. I will never forget my first SSC raid and having the raid leader say to me, "You probably won't be able to kill your demon".. and smashing it. RARR! :P

My overall advice would be:
- look at the cookie cutter builds
- seek advice BUT don't be a sheep
- consider your guild, content, gear, raid size
- assignments and strategies can change - keep an open mind!
- don't be afraid to explore new ways to make your talents work for you.. BUT
- always be prepared that you may be asked to change to suit your guild's expectations.

Xanatos said...

Keeva, we miss you!

Imagine my surprise when wowinsider featured a blog by a druid named Keeva. I was, like, no way that can't be her. But it is! Hope all's well with you. Miss your antics and quirks much!

xoxo

Xan

Keeva said...

Baby Keeva is all grown up!





Wait... quirks??? :P

Aertimus said...

Since I'm either brave or stupid enough to have two PvE specs, I have some of all of the back sheep talents in one or the other spec and can swap back and forth as I feel it is most beneficial. I don't think I could have just one PvE spec because I wouldn't be able to choose. I would always be thinking "But what about 10 mans!" "What about when I AM going OOM!!" "What about when everyone is going OOM!!!"

Thank you for making this post and hopefully heralding in a new age of extra talent non-descrimination in the tree world.

Graylo said...

@Keeva

I completely agree that with healing more talents fall into the grey area, because utility is a bigger issue than it is in DPS. I also agree with all of the advise you listed.

I guess what it comes down to is that I informally divide talents into two groups: Core and Optional. Some optional talents are better then others and therefore seem to be core talents, but they are not. For instance, I've had people call me a bad moonkin because I don't have Gale Winds. I don't pick it up because there isn't a single fight in WotLK where AoE DPS is absolutely vital, and it doesn't have a big impact on my boss DPS. On the other hand I am always a little paranoid about mana, therefore I've chosen to use those talent points for Intensity instead of Gale Winds.

Making a well reasoned choice to go against the conventional wisdom is great. However, every couple of weeks I come across someone who seems to be different just for the sake of being different and insists that their spec is the best.

For instance, I saw a post a few days ago where a moonkin insisted that Eclipse was a horrible talent and hurt our DPS because it was to random. Not many moonkin like Eclipse, but all serious raiders who have looked at the data or done testing realize that it is a significant DPS boost. No other talent in the Balance tree provides more DPS per point. So when I say that I would exclude him from the raid, its not because I think its "My way or the highway," but because he's done something very far out of line with the conventional wisdom and couldn't provide adiquate reasoning behind it.

I guess my basic point was that, people need to be careful when they go against the grain.

fallingleavesandwings said...

Great write up, as always! Keeva =)

I have been experimenting some with improved Barkskin after a post I read over in the EJ Resto forums a while back. I have been impressed with it enough to keep it talented for now. But I did have to scratch my head a bit before actaully making it out to moonglade to respec!

Naissa said...

I actually stumbled upon your blog via Google while searching for the 3.2 mount changes. >.> Just wanted to say that I think you've got an excellent blog going here. :) You seem to put lots of work into it and it's very informative and filled with druidy goodness. Keep up the great work. :)

Migzeh said...

Very nice post idd :)
I get alot of fun out of exploring new talent builds & play styles. For example when Lifebloom got changed, i tried out a pvp spec with a quick bloom (not taking Nature's Splendor or glyphing LB). After switching playstyle somewhat i found this spec to be fine for pve & raiding. The spec also has Imp Barkskin (as you mentioned, dmg mitigation for us is nice in raid)& Natural Perfection with Living Seed.

While some might argue having to refresh HoTs alot is a pain, i find
timing my blooms is fun & i dont seem to struggle for mana with it :)

& to think i would have never played this way if Blizz hadn't 'nerfed' Lifebloom ^^

Shaedra said...

This was a great post! It's really coincidental for me that you wrote this just now... As a new druid healer (I used to raid as a priest), I was anxiously going over everything yesterday before raid day today and looking for info that wasn't just "these are the talents you must take," and looking for more of the whys.

I'd specced into both revitalize and living seed - and I opted not to change anything last-minute. I can say that from what I've seen, as a healer primarily doing tank healing in a ten-man situation, I think that both of these talents helped a lot. Now that we've got the WWS info from the raid today, I can see that revitalize gave the MT about 1700 additional rage over the course of the run. 17 full rage bars is nothing to sneeze at! It also accounted for a fair amount of mana and energy - not as much as Replenishment, but hey...every little bit helps.

Thanks for writing everything you do here in such exacting detail. Your blog is one of this noob tree's favourite places to come for info. :)

Cassandri said...

After years of playing my priest, anticipating the release of dual-spec, I looked up some cookie-cutter Discipline talent builds and opened up the Wowhead talent build creator. Some time later I was happy and I realised I had deviated quite a bit from the standard.

Sure I had the build-defining stuff like Penance, but I took some talents other people would label "for PVP". And I was confident I had picked the right build for me.

The talents you choose have to match how you play your character and how you can compliment your raid group as a raider.