Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blizzard's Q&A and the future of trees

A look at the druid corner of the blogosphere today shows just how passionate we all are about our forms - whether you love them, or you want them changed.

I won't copy/paste the entire Q&A session, as others have already done so and given good summaries of their thoughts for each item. If you would like to read the entire Q&A, it can be found here.

Instead I wanted to touch on only one point - regarding Tree of Life itself. First - a disclaimer: GC is speaking very vaguely on "improvements" that might be made "sometime" to the druid class. This is not a definite, it is probably something that was merely tossed around standing at the water cooler. Here's the question, and GC's answer:

Q: Can you describe for us what the intended identity and versatilities of the Tree of Life druids are supposed to be?

A: Druids overall have a strong niche. We are at a little bit of a crossroads with the Tree of Life however. We are currently wondering if druids sacrifice too much just to be as good as a healer as everyone else. What I mean is that if druids were good healers in caster form but great healers in Tree form, then there might be a decision there. However, we pretty much assume that healing druids are in Tree form nearly all of the time and balance around that. We don’t think it would be fair for them to be the best healers just for taking that talent.

In addition to having to give up utility in order to heal as a Tree of Life, we have become less enamored with druids locking themselves into one form. In fact, you really never see the basic tauren or night elf druid form (you know, the one that actually shows off the awesome armor art) because all druids are in cat, bear, tree, or moonkin form nearly 100% of the time. 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.

Note to other healers: this is why you are unlikely to see any kind of “Holy form” ever. Giving up healing to do damage works okay. Giving up everything to heal is lame.

I almost don't know where to start, because I have so many point swimming around in my head that I want to get down on paper - not uncommon for me!

I think the blatantly obvious thing to state is that forms are our "thing". We give up certain parts of our abilities in order to improve other aspects of our abilities. We transform into bears, giving up our ability to heal ourselves or cast offensive spells, but becoming solid tanks. We transform into cats, also giving up the ability to heal, in order to be nasty melee dps. We transform into trees, giving up our ability to do damage, in order to excel at healing.

If the cats, bears, and moonkins are content to do their thing and not think it's unfair that they can't heal AND DPS at the same time, why is it such an issue for trees?

Here's Lissanna's take, which I think mirrors my own thoughts:

We lock ourselves into forms and don’t come out because that’s what druid playstyle IS at this point. It’s possible that tree form could work differently than our other forms, but doing that would probably be lame, because the druid class expects to spend all of our time in a form. In PvE, there can be more shifting around to use Utility spells (hurricane & roots, etc) that aren’t useable in tree or feral forms. The problem of sacrificing everything else to be able to fill our roles well is just that… we have to sacrifice everything else, and in the end, that’s fine. Making tree form a shapeshift on a cooldown is actually a lame idea, since none of our other forms would have that, and it would go against what it is to be a druid.

Bears choose bear-centric talents and gear and roles because they want to tank.
Cats choose kitty specs, gear, and they rip things apart because they want to DPS.
Moonkins choose to zap and pow with spells.
I spec ToL because I like to heal. I don't care about DPSing.

There may be times as a bear, cat or moonkin that you need to pop out and heal, rez, innervate, CC, depoison, etc. But it's rare enough that we don't see people jumping up and down and demanding that bears should be able to cast Regrowth and cats should be able to shred their target to pieces while tossing out Rejuvs on the party.

The problem with Trees

Since its inception, the Tree of Life form has undergone a lot of changes, mostly to remove or improve restrictions placed on us that were seen as disadvantages. It was rough at the start - but we've had a lot of minor improvements to relieve some of the problems. Compared to Day 1, trees can now:

- move at normal speed instead of 20% slower than other classes
- cast all restoration spells, not just HoTs, NS and Swiftmend
- cast Remove Curse and Remove/Abolish Poison
- cast Nature's Grasp
- cast Mark/Gift of the Wild and Thorns

The remaining restrictions or complaints against ToL:

- ugly appearance (to be changed sometime in the future)
- form hides the character/equipment (not unique to this form)
- can't CC
- can't cast offensive spells

Since their release, I don't think anyone can argue that we haven't had some good improvements. We're no longer locked into certain heals and not others. We have access to our utility spells to cleanse. We can run around with everyone instead of having to shift out and run at normal speed.

But STILL some druids complain that we should be able to heal and DPS in Tree form.

Trees are not a sometimes food

I will concede that trees are.. a little ugly. But a spruce-up (hehe, spruce.. get it :D) is on the horizon - and I'm confident it will be impressive.

Sure, we can't see our pretty elf or tauren characters. But that is true of every druid form. Are they also hoping to make cats, bears and laz0r budgies shift in and out frequently? Surely not..

I don't want my ToL to be turned into a 3 minute healing trinket that I put into a rotation. Or worse - a proc that is out of my control. I don't want it turned into a trinket in exchange for the ability to moonfire and cyclone. I can already do those things - I just have to temporarily give up my boosted healing. And I'm fine with that.

Geez, it's not like shifting out makes us AWFUL healers. If a cat shifts out, his healing is going to be woeful (but better than nothing). But as a resto druid, I can pop out and do respectable DPS and continue to do respectable (if not excellent) healing - I've just lost those boosts to my spells. They're not crippled, just reduced. Shifting does not suddenly make me a terrible healer.

I honestly do not see it as a huge sacrifice to have to lose some healing in order to DPS or CC.

However, I do understand that some resto druids don't like being a tree all the time, and would like to spend some time in caster. Certainly I would like to see myself every now and then. Others like the idea of a super-resto form that you bust out when things are really dire - along comes the awesome tree to save the day. I can definitely understand the appeal of that one! Pew pew, heal laz0rz.

For me, I guess what it boils down to is that we've had Tree for years now - and suddenly they want to take it back and make it something you can only use occasionally, as a super perk. I don't want to give up the form I have loved for several years because some people feel that we should be able to DPS and heal.

Counter argument: Tree form benefits aren't much

So just when I thought I had a handle on exactly how I felt about the issue, Siobhann from Silver Hand comes along and complicates things for me by bringing up a really good point, grr. so I'm cranky at you, Siobhann! *angrytree*
The difference between moonkin/ToL and other forms is that all we do when we shift into them is lock out half our casting abilities. Feral forms are an entirely different playstyle with energy or rage and you GAIN a completely different set of abilities by shifting.

Why should I be forced into a form that only has access to healing spells to heal the same as other classes who have all their base abilities?

I shift into cat form, I get an entirely new ability bar and energy rather than mana. Shift into bear, I get a different set of abilities and now I'm a warrior playing with a rage bar. I shift into tree from caster, all I do is lose abilities. I gain nothing but the spirit->spellpower conversion and aura that I should have access to all the time with 41+ points in a healing tree.

Gotta say it, this is a great point. What do we actually gain in tree form? Buffs, and that's about it. Immunity to poly (which has limited use for me, as a PvEr). Modifications to what we already have - nothing new or special. And to add insult to injury, I not only don't get anything new or different, I lose abilities also.

I have to say that I never really thought of it that way. I consider/ed our tree form buffs/auras/improvements to be defining, and more than adequate. But maybe tree form is - as other people have said - just a bunch of modifiers wrapped in a broccoli graphic? (I believe I'm paraphrasing Nadine from Magtheridon - sorry, I closed the window)

Should they perhaps be considering giving us different abilities or a different power system as a tree? Some kind of energy-type power like "life force" or something? And some funky new spells (and take months to balance them..) Not necessarily more spells to have to choose between, but something different. A slightly different style of play if you choose to become a tree.

Rather than focusing on the fact that we give up our offense and defense - should we address the fact that we don't really gain anything great when we shift into tree?

Suddenly I'm not so sure of myself.

A common sentiment on the forums at the moment is "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". The majority appear to be vehemently opposed to turning ToL into a trinket (as am I).

But I have to admit that now I am questioning what really is so great about this form that I love.

I still don't care about being able to DPS in tree form. I doubt I'll ever care. But now that I sit and think about it - even though we are definitely formidable healers in our current state - ToL basically just boosts our existing spells and spellpower and doesn't give us anything new or change our play much (if at all). On top of that, it removes our offensive and CC spells (although we can still cast them, but then we lose healing performance).

Even though I honestly don't care to DPS, now I find that I can't help feeling as though we've been a little short changed.

I'm happy the way we are at the moment, though. I will be very unhappy if ToL becomes a proc or is put on a cooldown.

As always - time will tell.


Maerdred said...

"I spec ToL because I like to heal. I don't care about DPSing."


I love looking at a WWS parse and seeing Maerrakech at the bottom of the Damage list with a Damage Done of zero.

I stay in Tree Form and heal because I like Tree Form and Healing. I don't want to DPS.

masterkevosavi said...

Keeva, I agree. I don't go to a raid on my druid to dps, I go to heal. Sometimes I pretend to DPS by tree-pimp-slapping the boss, but I'm really just trying to get extra OOC procs (especially on vezax).

And that is a good point though, about the fact that bears and kitties get extra abilities when they go into form. Maybe we need a new ability or two...but then again, compared to pallies and shamans, we already have a TON of healing spells.

At the end of the day, I'm happy with the ToL form as it is right now. Please Blizz, leave it alone.

Malstram said...

Hi Keeeeeeeeeva. Long time lurker, love your blog. You converted me to Grid BTW :).

Anyways, on to the matter at hand. I too love my broccoli form and was not only rather grumpy about GC's insinuation that they might "trinket" it but I wasn't all to happy with the "Giving up everything to heal is lame" comment either.

But I kinda digress. I do not believe the problem is that we "do not get much in tree form" so much as before there was a great distinction between tree healing and caster healing (only hots, improved healing) whereas our "kit" in tree form and caster form have been expanded to the point where there is very little distinction. It's not that we do not get a lot in tree form, it's that now we got it all (or almost all).

However I really don't see that as an issue. If you look at the form which is our greatest "foil", moonkin, you will see the mechanic is extremely similar. You really only get a + to spell power and 5% to crit in exchange for not being able to heal. If you want to heal, you can go to caster form and the loss in minimal. To paraphrase your statement a bit, you go from being a "excellent dpser" to a fair "dpser" but it's not like your caster dps becomes soooo low it's unbearable (get it , un-"bear"-able). I would not turn "space chicken" in a "5% to crit, extra spellpower" trinket spell just because I consider it only a "boost".

All in all, it's not just numbers but a matter of overall play. We get enjoyment from the distinctive forms, etc etc and they are a major part of the class we are playing. To change the art is one thing, to completely get rid of the form and make it a "spell" is dishearting at best. We might as well only have 4 classes in wow just like any startup mud (real old time text based mmorpg :) lolz) fighter, theif, priest, mage.

Well I hope I made SOME sense and didn't bore you too much.

Shopshopshop said...

Back when I healed on my Druid, I really hated Tree Form. Not because I lost offensive spells - I never cast those even in vanilla WoW when Tree Form didn't exist. But rather because I disliked both the casting animation, the look, and the disappearance of my character. It seems silly, but I really like seeing my character do stuff rather than just a tree that looks like a mob.

That and the whole thing about Tree not being a big buff.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree...I do not mind having to shift into ToL to heal. I do not mind not having any offensive spells when I'm in ToL (it isn't as if it is hard to shift out if you *really* need to do DPS).

What I do *not* want to do is go back to eating deviate fish because I have to cast in tauren form again. (sorry...cow casting is just bleh). I do *not* want to have to say "time for ToL" every 5 minutes...and have to start focusing on watching another thing in addition to lifebars and HoT timers.

I really do hope that a lot of this is just brainstorming.

Also Keeva...don't forget that we gain spell power based on our spirit once you go into ToL if you are spec'd properly for it =) I think for me it's ~200ish SP.

Adeanna said...

I also agree with you. I spec a Tree because I like to heal. I love being a Tree that looks angry when healing because we're "mad" healers. :P

And to take the Tree form away from us is lame. It's bad enough Blizz keeps messing with Lifebloom, but to vaguely think about changing our Tree form to a special spell or proc or whatevers?!?!?!? Noooo! It is what makes us resto druids. It is our identity and allows us to differentiate us from the bear/kitty and moonkin druids (I used to be jealous pre-Tree form times that I didn't have a special Resto form like the bear/kitty/moonkin druids and only had Innervate as something that said I'm a resto druid. After all, isn't forms what makes us druids (regardless of specs) druids?) It tells the world "I'm a resto druid and proud of it!" Besides, no Tree form means no Arbor Day celebration and not being able to dance the Twist with other Trees while waiting for our raid to start. /sad tree

And I'm not convinced with the counter argument that shifting into Tree form makes a druid lose abilities. (Sorry if this is not the proper place to counter argue the counter arguement.)

1. I don't know if "lock out" is the proper term because technically a druid's caster spells are still "accssible" (while in bear/kitty form) but you can't cast it in bear/kitty form. And well, you could counter argue that bear/kitty forms lock a druid out from the bear/kitty form specific abilities. I mean, wouldn't it be really cool if Trees could stealth and do a Pounce? :P

2. Tree form does not only "has access to healing spells to heal the same as other classes who have all their base abilities". In ToL form you still have "access" to the basic spells of moonfire, starfire, wrath, faire fire, nature's grasp, roots, etc etc (again technically speaking). You just can't do it in Tree form. It's the same as a shadow priest who has to get out of their shadow form to cast a healing spell.

3. And shifting into ToL not only gives you a buff to your healing spells and a healing aura, you gain resto only spells/talents ("abilities" if you will) like Nature's Swiftness, Wildgrowth, Living Seed, and Swiftmend. And correct me if I am wrong, but don't ALL druid forms have their spec specific auras that only happens when they are in their specific forms? Okay, moonkin/bear/kitty get their auras 10 points earlier than the Trees. :P

I guess my point would be that if being a Tree makes a druid "lose" and/or "locks out" abilities from the Balance and Feral specs, well, one could argue the same for ALL druid forms: being a Moonkin locks me out from my healing and feral abilites, being a bear/kitty locks me out from my balance and healing abilities. And I doubt Blizz will give us access to all of a druid's abilities regardless of what form they are in.

Anyways, I really do hope this vague thinking disappears and blows away in the wind, especially if a lot of Resto Druid blogs speak out about this issue. Tree form isn't broken, let us keep it as it defines us as Resto Druids. If anything, I think Blizz should be focusing on updating our Tree (and Moonkin too) look. I mean a dried up broccoli really conveys a good healing feel, ie change our colors to look like we're a living tree and not a dead one. :P

Oops, sorry for the long "comment". I guess you could say some of us Trees are passionate about being Trees. Thanks for the great blog and keep up the good work. :D

Dalcharin said...

I remember a blue posting in the last few weeks or months... something to the extent that druids are expected to be in TOL to heal, and they've arranged out healing output to be equal to others based on always in TOL, we gain nothing, but give up half the spell book. So our aura is just kinda a baseline and used to bring us up to par with the others. We don't "gain" anything at all, we only give up half our spells for the graphic.

Taz said...

It's really fascinating to see everyone's reaction to this. I have to thank you for giving a very balanced posting on this issue.

I think for the tree community at large to be saying "We'd have to give up tree form!" is a bit premature based on Ghostcrawler's comments - especially since even he seemed to be indulging in so much random speculation. If that were the case (or ends up being the case), I think I'd be waving my own branches in protest.

However, perhaps through my own naivete, I'm honestly curious about the concept. I think it could end up being great. I also think I've rarely had huge issues with the decisions that Blizzard has made about the progression WoW has taken, and I trust them - at this point - to take this speculation in a course that would retain the best and most important part of being a druid - the shapeshifting aspect - which Ghostcrawler himself acknowledged.

It's always a pleasure to hear your thoughts - I always come away more informed! So thanks again.

Keeva said...

@masterkevosavi: ur doin it rite!


@Maerdred: ur doin it slightly wrong - needs more tree-slapping! You still want to be around the bottom of the DPS list, but not with zero. If you have zero damage done, you need to slap, slap, slap. Remember the three core tenets of resto druidism: heal, bounce, treeslap! In my case it's not so much with the bouncing.. my style is more "run in tiny circles"...


@Malstram: hi, thanks for your kind words! I think you're right about the lack of distinction. As (I believe) the person I quoted said - we have all the same spells available to us whether we're caster, moonkin, or tree - nothing is different. I'm not sure that we need a whole new set of abilities, that might be too much.. but it did open my eyes to the fact that moonkins are just druids in fat suits with extra damage modifiers and a crit umbrella - and trees are similar, but heal-flavoured. I found it interesting, I'd never thought of it that way.


@Shopshopshop: I think we're all biting our nails and waiting to see what they come up with for the new tree & moonkin models/skins sometime in the future. Hopefully it will help the druids like yourself - who love druids, but hate the way we look.


@Beru: yes, I'm hoping it is just something that someone blurted out and that they think long and hard before they make our iconic form into a trinket. @ the spellpower thing - that's included when I mention modifiers and whatnot - the argument is that we don't get anything new or particularly interesting, just boosts to our existing abilities, some extra spellpower that you could argue we should have anyway, the aura, etc. Nothing standout. It's a compelling argument when you put tree and moonkin up against cat and bear.


@Adeanna: the "mad healers" thing made me laugh :P I also find it funny that my Night Elf (in caster form) always looks angry when she's crafting something.

To answer your points:

1: you're absolutely right - now that we can cast things like heals and moonfire etc in forms (but it boots us out), it's a lot more convenient. Being able to start a heal while I'm still in a form, rather than unshift-heal-shift does make a difference. It *is* almost as if you can use those spells in forms - but of course, not quite. You still have to get back into your original form and keep going. To me.. not a huge deal though.

2: Basically the same as 1. Moonkin also have all their heals, it just pops them out. But you do still basically "lose" those abilities if you want to *stay* in your form the entire time. Again, not a big issue for me, but some people don't like it, and evidently GC thinks it is unfair.

3. NS, WG, living seed and Swiftmend are not linked to shifting to ToL, I'm not sure what you mean.

And yes, definitely you can say that each form loses some abilities in order to boost others - that's what druids are all about, and why many people have no problem with the fact that we can be DPS trees. A bear can't heal itself, so why should a tree DPS? But then you have people arguing that priests can smite, pallies can shock, etc, so druids must be losing out!

I don't care about DPSing as a tree. I'll just pop out to do it. But apparently Blizzard think something is wrong, and want to "fix" it. Let's just hope they don't fix it too hard.

Keeva said...

@Dalcharin: Yep, that's one of the big arguments at the moment. GC has said that because trees are usually always trees, they have balanced our healing around that fact, meaning that we don't actually shift to tree to be awesome, we shift to tree to be on par with the other healers.

He thinks that tree should be more special and powerful, but having it all the time would be unbalanced, so they're considering putting it on a cooldown. I can understand what he is saying, but it's still a little scary that they might take away our form.


@Taz: I'm not sure my post is balanced.. I think my brain is just fickle and I don't know which side I want to take :P

You're right, it is quite premature.. things will be fleshed out eventually.

Perhaps if GC wanted his tree trinket - it could actually be separate to the standard tree form itself?

For example.. you spec down to tree, you can choose to be a tree (for aesthetics) if you want. Then but the super dooper tree trinket activation is actually on a cooldown? Our aura and modifiers are linked to the talent but not the form (much like we now get reduced cost to hots regardless of whether we are in form or not). So looking like a tree could basically be a personal choice (or there could be a few perks added), and the tree trinket can be used without taking our form away.

That way, we don't lose the ability to be a tree whenever we want, which is something that most people are concerned about - but GC still gets his cooldown power boost..?

I don't know, it's early.. I might be talking rubbish :)

Taz said...

That's a really intriguing idea - one that might satisfy both Blizzard AND the trees. :) Hopefully someone's (looking at you, GC!) paying attention.

Siobhann said...

Zomg. Quoted on a blog I read all the time. I'm flattered. :-)

GC asked a while back for opinions on tree form and my first reaction was "I love my branches!" Then I started thinking about it and realized how little tree form does for us in WotLK.

The division between cat, bear, and caster and the design comes straight out of Diablo II. Druids were a lot of fun in Diablo and a they are a lot of fun in WoW. I think Blizzard went astray in BC when they decided to introduce more forms that further split up our abilities. It has weakened moonkin in PvP because they are forced to choose between heals or armor/poly immunity, and forced healing druids into a form that denies access to casting abilities that we intuitively should be able to cast.

As much as I have enjoyed playing ToL (though I'm sick of the graphic) I do think GC is moving in the right direction in his thinking.

Keeva said...

You're just a troublemaker, that's what you are!

Can you feel me glaring at you from here?


Rivellana said...

Personally...I do think trees are the OP healing class already. My druid was my first character but she had always been moonkin, even to the point that I leveled a holy priest and healed with it in BC and also leveled it to 80 first after WotLK, having never tried resto druids healing. I even dual specced my priest holy/disc so I could either raid heal or tank heal depending on which we needed. Then, one night I wanted to bring my druid to a raid, and there wasn't room for me as a dps because they needed a healer. I said I'd try out resto healing so I could get myself in raids to get myself boomkin gear...and I never looked back. My druid became resto and my main and my priest has barely even been touched in months. And part of why I switched was because my druid seemed so much more powerful than my priest, and also because I found it to be an easier playstyle and something I enjoyed more.

I'm not a fan of the current tree form graphic, it's hideous...but I heal in it anyways because I love druid healing so much. I'd be perfectly happy if they did nothing to ToL form other than change the graphic.

Keeva said...

But seriously, Siobhann - I too have to admit that I think he is on the right track with his thinking. Kinda.

There's still part of me that thinks it is greedy to want to DPS and heal .. but once you start considering that our moonkin and tree forms don't take us above and beyond the other classes in exchange for our tradeoffs - they just bring us in line with those classes - you have to start wondering what the true benefit is in shifting.

Other than the cool dances.

Yes, you can list the various "benefits" - the added spellpower, the aura etc.. but as GC said - they are basically balancing our tree form healing with everyone else, meaning that we are effectively narrowing access to our abilities in order to become... as good as everyone else. Not better or particularly special. No extra abilities that we can't access otherwise.

So what's so special about shifting? Where's the big benefit, other than some modifiers and an aura?

I just never ever thought of it that way. I don't care to DPS, so I don't care that I "lose" those abilities. But when you take a look at the basic idea that druids "give up" some things to get other benefits - I honestly think we are being short changed when compared to the bears and cats.

I still love my tree, but it has definitely got me thinking :)

Obviously they can't just buff tree to be super awesome, because that won't be balanced. But I sincerely hope that they come up with a way to "fix" this without taking away our forms and putting it on a cooldown or similar. I still want to be able to be a tree.

Perhaps the idea of an occasional buff linked to ToL is the way to go - to make the benefits more special and unique than just extra spellpower etc - but don't take away our tree form to do it!

Bloomindraal said...

To be honest I only see the issues raised by Siobhann as relevant in PVP.

I'm a resto druid who does Battleground, Arena and PVE. In PVE we simply change form to ToL and we are uber healer's. We have next to no need for cc or offensive spells, so there is no need to shift forms.

My problem is in PVP. When I come up against a warlock, I have to go into caster form. I immedtaily lose my 41 point talent as a result ... You dont see the other healing classes losing that.

If I want to cc or dps, again I lose my 41 point talent. This is where I think ToL is broken.

Does it need to be fixed ? We'll I'm still unsure about that myself. I'd like to be able to dps and cc in ToL form, but then we can't have all things can we otherwise we'd just be deathknights

Dalcharin said...

I think it'd be ice if say while in tree form we could get a few abilities that you'd associate with plants-- ie take the creeper vine from Diablo 2, it's kinda an offensive/defensive area pet... have it give like replenishment for health while it does damage.

If moonkin can launch angry treants... maybe we could launch an army of owlbeasts.

Or allow us to use root in form... it is awfully plant oriented.

Something to match the theme to make tree unique would just be swell. Or maybe only able to cast nature-damage spells, or alter wrath to cause an AOE splash heal using later talents, make us want to cast something offensive since it gives other minor benefits that accounts for healing.

There's all kinds of things they could do really, and I'm just brainstorming for things that'd fit "tree"... giant beams from outerspace, while neat, makes me think too much of lightning-induced forest fires.

Mostly I heal just fine in raiding, in fact I find myself bored JUST healing, it'd be nice to have another button to push to help contribute... esp on heroics... where I've now just turned to healing it outside form and using hurricane half the time after I toss on a rejuv... between that and the reduced attack speed on hurricane they hardly need anymore healing.

Siobhann said...

Don't get me wrong. I love shapeshifting. I don't do a lot in feral forms, but I love having the option to toss on bear gear and go tank a 5-man. I do not own a flying mount at all as a show of druid pride. I copied to the PTR as soon as it opened to see the spiffy new forms.

Thing is, at this point tree form brings very little. What they ask of us is exactly like telling priests that casting any DPS spell removes Improved Inner Fire. How ridiculous is that?

I'd be more content with a graphics update. I particularly want the ability to look different from other trees in the raid so I can tell myself apart. Even so, I will still envy the healers standing next to me who can freely intermingle all their spells without incurring extra mana cost and a GCD to do so.

Malstram said...

One quick note/suggestion/idea. If I remember reading the Q&A correctly I think the major reason this came up with the idea of getting rid of the tree form was not the utility of the tree form BUT that we didn't get to see our new purples like everyone else does.

I was striding around on my level 60 epic kitty from darnassus when it hit me like an errant starfire--why can't they create gear art for the different forms??

The level 40 (now level 30 and soon level 20) regular ground mount has no armour on it but the level 60 (soon to be 40) ground mount DOES. Blizzard could create armour art for our forms so we could see the armor and still be in forms. :) It would take a while to standardize but I think it would be really cool.

Jasyla said...

I absolutely love druid healing. Love it. I absolutely hate tree form, and the fact that using it is a must if I want to be as effective as possible.

I say get rid of tree form altogether. Or make it a usable spell that turns us into "super tree" for a while and gives us some extra potency.

For me it's not so much about what we need to sacrifice in order to heal in form, it's mostly an aesthetic thing. I think that having to stare at an ugly, generic model for a 5 hour raid is too big a trade-off for relatively little benefit (go ahead, call me shallow :P )

Although a new model would be better than nothing, I hope that one day I'll be able to see all the pretty gear I worked hard for while I'm healing.

Hurin said...

Tree Form could be combined with a redesigned, raid-wide Tranquility on a once-per-fight cooldown like Bloodlust is. The animation could be us going Tree Form (maybe a bigger better version?) and planting our roots while little saplings sprout across the raid. Just a thought.

dorod said...

Hmm. My view on this is if a resto druid wanted to dps we would be a balance spec wouldn't we.. Pointless changing the way ToL works just for a few spec confused resto druids.

The whole "I want to dps as resto spec" appears to be mainly pvp based and other then burn phases (Razorscale, XT) I dont really see a place where resto druids should use balance spells in pve. As I first said, if you are a druid and want to dps, not being a healer would be a great place to start.