Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hello Nourish, it's so nice to see you again

Please note: in this post I make assumptions about glyphs and set bonuses stacking. This is my assumption based on a few reasons but nothing official has been announced and we cannot yet test them on the PTR. I may be wrong; they may not stack when the changes go live, which would obviously change this entire post (and make me feel a little silly). Another possibility of course is that the glyphs and set bonuses on our gear my change before the patch - so please take this post with a grain of salt!

Preliminary 3.1 info is out, and boy is it interesting. A bunch of new pets, mounts.. dual specs, new patterns (I knew it was wise to stockpile my Moonshroud..) Ulduar of course, and a legendary mace, oh my. But as much as I'd like to ramble about all the cool new stuff, I want to focus on the changes to Regrowth and Nourish.

Glyph of Nourish *new* -- Your Nourish heals an additional 6% for each of your heal over time effects present on the target.
Improved Regrowth (Tier 6) renamed Nature's Bounty. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 5/10/15/20/25%. (Previously increased just regrowth crit by 10/20/30/40/50%)

At first glance, it's "boo - massive Regrowth nerf", but I'm intrigued by this change and I'm excited that it will likely mean that I get my wish for Nourish to become part of my standard tank rotation. Back when Nourish was announced I thought it would be a great filler spell inside our standard HoT rotation due to its speed, mana efficiency and the fact that it was boosted by HoTs that would inevitably on the tank anyway, plus by using it rather than "spamming" Regrowth you aren't "wasting" the HoT component. I was so excited about Nourish's potential - but in the end, it just wasn't what I had hoped; Regrowth outshone it in so many ways.

Although it's sad to see Regrowth nerfed, I'm excited that Nourish is getting a badly needed buff (and a badly needed glyph!) so that it will actually be a good/better choice for direct healing, rather than being mediocre at worst, adequate at best.

As it stands, the only thing Nourish has going for it is a slightly faster cast time (but RG's ~70% buffed crit rate means it is often just as fast as base Nourish). Yeah, it's also a little more efficient, but at the moment mana is not a concern, so you can "spam" Regrowth all day, there's just no need to substitute Nourish.

Nourish is much weaker, has no glyph, no HoT component, horribly low crit (meaning seeds only happen 15%-20% of the time and are usually smaller), and basically relies on you to have all your HoTs up to make it competitive. Even then it's not great - in my current gear (but assuming 4pc) I think it's an average of about 500hp (non-crit) extra compared to glyphed Regrowth's direct heal - but to do that you must have the 4pc bonus and all three HoTs up (and don't forget the 70% vs 20% crit on the two spells).

I've often referred to Nourish healing as feeling as though you're trying to fill up a swimming pool with a bucket.. you can toss bucketfuls of water in fast, but it feels like you're going nowhere with such a low crit rate, poor talents and no glyph, compared to Regrowth with a huge crit rate (more Living Seeds and faster casts), a bunch of talents to increase its effectiveness, a glyph to boost it by 20%, a HoT component (plus Swiftmend)....

Nourish can be good if you need a top-up in a hurry, but otherwise Regrowth just has so much more going for it, particularly for tank healing, which is what I prefer to do.

I want to embrace Nourish!

I want to be clear. I'm NOT anti-Nourish. I actually don't like using Regrowth as my direct heal; it feels wrong to overwrite the HoT. Weaving Nourishes in would be more elegant than simply "spamming" Regrowth. I WANT to use Nourish; I want to use it so badly. But, sadly, aside from some very situational fights, Regrowth beats it in so many ways. Other than being a bit more zippy in tight squeezes, it's pretty bad. I use it regularly on a single fight at the moment, and ONLY because it's a little faster, otherwise I would ditch it altogether.

But - things are changing!

In 3.1, Nature's Bounty adds 25% (max) crit to both Regrowth (down from 50%) and Nourish, which will even the playing field a little. Nourish will actually have a slightly higher crit rate because Nature's Majesty adds 4% crit to various spells, including Nourish but excluding Regrowth. This isn't much, but it means 4% more crits and that means 4% more seeds too, and since Living Seed is now going to be based off your full heal (not just effective healing), this is worth noting, I think - another small reason to use Nourish as a direct heal if RG is already up and not ready to be refreshed yet.

The Nourish glyph will add 6% for each of your own HoTs on your target. For tank healing you would generally have three HoTs up, so Nourish would be boosted by 18% with the glyph. If you happened to have WG up (not expected, but possible, especially if melee are taking damage), it's 24% extra. Tasty.

I did some number crunching (haha, no, I really did) to work out how Nourish would look if I actually picked up 4 pieces of T7 and the new Nourish glyph. Being highly scientific and just using my current stats, MotW and ToL only (no raid buffs), average heals look like this:

Regrowth: 4488, 6733 crit (plus a 2020 living seed and 800/tick HoT)
Regrowth+Glyph: 5386, 8080 crit (plus a 2424 living seed and 960/tick HoT)

Right now (no T7, no Nourish glyph)
Nourish: 4226, 6339 crit (plus a 1902 living seed)
Nourish+HoT/s: 5071, 7607 crit (plus a 2282 living seed)

Post 3.1 (with T7, glyph, and 3 HoTs up)
Nourish: 6881, 10322 crit (plus a 3097 living seed)

It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realise I'll need to grab myself a couple more pieces of Tier 7 in preparation for patch 3.1. If my (terrible) math is correct, as a direct heal on someone, Nourish will be healing for roughly the same amount non-crit as an unglyphed Regrowth crit.

The only problem will be deciding which glyph is going to make way for the Nourish one.

At least Dreamwalker looks great.

The only thing that I DON'T like about this is being cemented into 4 pieces of Tier 7 for who knows how long. The glyph and the 4pc bonus makes Nourish VERY nice, meaning I may feel obliged to stick to 4pc Tier 7 for a long time (I didn't even want to be wearing it in the first place). Breaking a set bonus and subsequently losing 15% (if 3 HoTs are up - usually) on what may now be our staple direct heal is not something I'd want to do.

I want to wear the new shoulders!!!!!

BUT, honestly.. if this "fixes" Nourish and lets it into my rotation where I want it, I don't mind too much about being "stuck" in 4pc T7.

As usual, the bulk of the responses to this change are negative; mostly complaints about the nerf to Regrowth, making me wonder if I'm mental or missing something. I know I suck at math so I can't spit out any figures on HPS or HPM to report on the pros and cons in that respect, but at first glance I can see this change making my healing more enjoyable simply through producing more elegant and varied tank rotations (rather than stack HoTs, Regrowth Regrowth Regrowth). I don't know if I'm missing something important, but it looks good to me.

I'm hoping this will mean that my rotation will be to stack HoTs, get RG up, and then fill in with Nourish, refreshing HoTs and throwing emergency spot heals as necessary. This is what I have wanted ever since they announced Nourish, so I am hoping this is how things pan out.


Kiryn said...

As usual, you express my thoughts pretty well on the subject. I try not to think of these things as nerfs I should be angry about, but something that might make playing my class more interesting. One really shouldn't fear change. I'm really excited about actually putting Nourish on my bars and having a reason to cast it for the first time ever.

Honestly, if this change goes through the way it is right now, I could seriously see myself replacing my Regrowth glyph with the new glyph of Nourish. Swiftmend always stays of course, and I just might think about swapping out Lifebloom for that new Wild Growth glyph, but if I'm not going to be spamming Regrowth as much any more, that glyph will become much less valuable.

Keeva said...

Without knowing what the encounters are going to be like, it's a bit hard to say how I might glyph.

If mana really is an issue in early Ulduar, I may have to drop Lifebloom for Innervate again.

I'd love to run Regrowth and Nourish at the same time; 20% bigger Regrowth refreshes and 20% larger ticks is a nice complement to Nourish; but if my rotations are tight and I'm healing several people at once, I may need to keep that extra second on Lifebloom. One second seems trivial but I have found it to make such a huge difference to me in how much healing I can fit inside my Lifebloom rotation.

Also, the Swiftmend glyph becomes even more valuable now that Nourish is improved; I basically saw it as a "must have" glyph before, but if you're using Nourish as a staple post 3.1, I don't think you can afford to be without it. Swiftmending one of your HoTs off prematurely (or having someone else Swiftmend them off!!!) would hurt your next Nourish and force you to break your rotation to get the HoT back up. I think that if you have the Nourish glyph you have to make sure you have Swiftmend (most people do, anyway).

I think I would like to run Swiftmend, Nourish and Regrowth, but if I find Regrowth to be less valuable and that I need that 1 second of extra wiggle room, I can see myself sticking with Lifebloom.

We'll see :)

Kiryn said...

The way I see it is, I like being flexible. With Nourish getting a benefit from Wild Growth, the Nourish glyph benefits both my tank healing and my raid healing. Combined with the wild growth glyph to hit more targets, then I can WG-Nourish more people. The combo works well, in my mind.

But definitely, if I wanted to be more tank-specialized, I'd make different choices.

And yeah, can't live without the Swiftmend glyph. I dread the day they nerf it to make it less required.

Jennifer said...

As a new resto I had real trouble NOT using Nourish at first. It looked like it should be a valuable spell but all the math was saying otherwise. I'm looking forward to it becoming a valid option.

Glyph wise I can see merit behind having both the Regrowth and Nourish glyphs but I can't see myself giving up Lifebloom.

Anonymous said...

Wow, first the talk about mana regeneration changes and now the shuffling around of regrowth and nourish.

I want to give up Lifebloom to fit in this new glyph but at the same time I think I like that extra second a little too much...nah. No matter, druids should be pretty used to change by now that it should hardly be an issue in the long run. Please oh please don't let them take away my swiftmend glyph!

Bell said...

The idea of the Nourish glyph stacking with the 4 pc. Tier 7 seems a little over-the-top to me; I'm seeing it as a way to compete without needing 4 pc t7. If you have 4 pc you can glyph something else; if you don't then glyph Nourish. Being able to stack all that extra healing to Nourish would definitely make it insanely good.

Also...those new shoulders look like a terrarium. I'm imagining little lizards and turtles hanging out in there. XD

Vargarth said...

Tbh they look like a peach tree to me. o_O

Sydera said...

Hey Keeva,

I've been assuming that the 6% from the Nourish glyph won't stack with the 5% from Dreamwalker.

I'll have to test it to be sure, but that sounds like the kind of thing Blizz would do! Recreate a set bonus as a glyph.

Averna said...

Really interesting Keeva. I actually JUST finished typing up a similar post and talking about the Wild Growth glyph, too =D

Averna said...

@Sydera - I was assuming that they *would* stack...

Keeva said...

You know, I simply assumed they would stack since most other things in the game are multiplicative. Perhaps I've jumped the gun.

Still, we have to maintain HoTs on the target to make it a big hitting heal, for example casting and renewing three HoTs on a tank to build Nourish up. So really it will only be a really big heal on targets that we can devote time enough to get those HoTs up and keep them up. That will be really time consuming, so I think that's a fair tradeoff.

For raid healing you might have WG and another HoT up to make Nourish a decent size, but you won't be able to get all HoTs up on the raid (if you do, it will only be on a couple of people), so it's not like you'll be throwing 10k crit heals all over the place.

I think usually you'll either devote a lot of time to stacking and maintaining HoTs on one target (and possibly rejuv/LB on a secondary target) as a tank healer, giving you really nice chunky heals inside your rotation, OR you'll be peppering the raid with one or two quick HoTs. With my current level of gear (but imagine I have 4pc and the glyph - NO raid buffs though, just ToL), Nourish would be landing on a 1-HoT target for about 5300, critting for 7950. I don't think that is excessive considering that you have to first get a HoT up on them.

Two HoTs (which will be much harder to do on more than a few people) would be about 5600/8400 crit; again, I don't think that is excessive considering that you first have to get those other two other heals onto them in preparation.

If I went all-in and kept my 3 main HoTs up, with glyph and 4pc, I'd be getting 6900/10350 crit heals. That's really not a huge deal; my Regrowth hits for around 5500 and crits for about 8200, and to do that I only have to have the glyph equipped and have one HoT up (Regrowth itself). So I think the extra "work" (time, mana) required to build HoTs up and maintain them is what warrants it being able to hit so hard.

If it doesn't stack, then it's a nice substitute for 4pc if you don't want to be locked into it. Perhaps Blizzard is thinking that they don't want to get people stuck in 4pc T7 because of the Nourish bonus, so the glyph would be a substitute. Then again, I know several people still wearing 2pc T6, so.....

We'll see!

It's good to see various similar posts cropping up about the 3.1 changes. I'll have to do a summary post at some stage, I just had so much to say about Regrowth and Nourish (I'm excited!) that I didn't want to crit people even more with my thoughts on the other changes. I think we have plenty of time to wait yet, so I'll do that closer to release.

Still trying to find time to do my Healbot experiment, too!

Andurial (Alleria) said...

First, let me say that you'll probably see a lot more of me now that Phae is closing Resto4life (SAD PANDA!) but I have to get my resto blog fix somehow =).

Now, as far as Nourish goes, I honestly think that people have underrated it thus far. I know the math does not always support it being the more mana efficient choice, especially without the 4pc T7 bonus, but let's be honest... up to this point, who has really needed to be mana efficient? Practically speaking, Nourish often makes more sense when you're tank healing because it costs less mana (if talented the proper way - which I do over things like Replinish or Living Seed) and often the ginormous heals of a glyphed crit Regrowth are just wasted. I know I'll probably get flamed for that, but personally I just find Regrowth whack-a-mole to just be inefficient, especially for those times when it DOESN'T crit and you're left with like a 1.85 second cast as opposed to a 1.4 with Nourish (various levels of haste assumed of course).

The glyph, as Bell said, is most likely going to allow us to keep using Nourish without having to grapple on to that 4pc bonus. I know that it could be super uber with the bonus, but ultimately I don't think that's the intention. Ghostcrawler has mentioned in the past that he and the devs want Nourish to be more viable and I think that's what they're getting at. Coupled with the increased crit from the changed Nature's Bounty (I think?) talent, it's going to be something that's hard to ignore. With Regrowth and Nourish on the same playing field in terms of crit, I think Regrowth loses it's effectiveness both as a raid heal and a tank heal. Now that Wild Growth increases the healing done by Nourish, it's far more likely that we will toss out Wild Growth (Glyph of Wild Growth anyone?) on 5-6 people, and touch up with a glyphed Nourish for quicker, stronger, more mana efficient heals than ever.

Keeva said...

Honestly, if it doesn't stack, I'll probably go back to considering Nourish as a fairly unimpressive spell that I only use when someone doesn't need a huge heal or when I should save a little mana. It'll be slightly faster, a little cheaper.. but still not hit for very much. Even with the 4pc bonus it's only hitting for about 500hp more than glyphed Regrowth (no raid buffs though, remember). Doesn't exactly excite me.

The only things Nourish has going for it are speed and efficiency. Considering that I rarely go OOM, almost always give away my Innervate, use pots once in a blue moon, and don't spend much time outside the FSR, I don't think the coming regen changes will hurt me badly. Of course, we don't know what kind of fights we'll have in Ulduar, they might be really hard on mana. But I'm confident that I won't be struggling for mana.

So why would I use a major glyph slot or lock myself into 4pc (and 5/5 tranq spirit, by the way) just to save a bit of mana (that I probably won't need) and to have a marginally faster cast time?

Where is the incentive to actually give up Regrowth as my direct heal?

It might be more attractive to raid healers, I don't know. WG+Nourishing the raid. But for tank healing, I'm not impressed. Being slightly faster, slightly cheaper (with Tranq), and hitting marginally harder if you have 3 HoTs up, it's clear it should be better HPS, which is good. But does it warrant a 4pc bonus or a major slot to be slightly better than what we already have?

The Regrowth glyph gives you 27 seconds to keep the bonus up. The same sized direct heal from Nourish requires you to refresh 3 HoTs, the shortest one being 9 seconds. Yeah, they're usually up anyway - but you still have to make sure they get refreshed on time, and you have a much tighter window of opportunity. That's a lot more extra work and coordination to get the same sized heal. On fast-paced fights or times when you need to roll on a few targets, Regrowth is going to hit harder and be easier to do.

Again, it just keeps coming back to "slightly faster, slightly cheaper". Apart from VERY situational encounters, big fat hairy deal about slightly faster, slightly cheaper. It's certainly nice to have an OPTION to heal someone 0.5 seconds faster, in emergencies (and when Swiftmend is down..), but apart from that.. there's not much encouragement to make it part of your standard rotation.


You guys are right; maybe they don't want people locked into 4pc T7 forever because it's too good. Makes sense and I definitely agree. But the bonus by itself or the glyph by itself... I see as fairly mediocre. 4pc AND glyph would make Nourish GOOD, not just adequate. For too long it has been "okay" (if you've got 4pc, 3 HoTs up, and points in Tranq). Would it really be so bad to make it MORE than okay?

I just don't think it's right that you should have to put on 4 pieces of T7 (which often are NOT best in slot for us) OR use up a major glyph slot to make Nourish ADEQUATE. Not great, just adequate. Plus you have to dump points into Tranq Spirit to make sure it's mana efficient.

That has been what annoyed me about Nourish; that you should have to be locked into 4 pieces of gear plus a talent that isn't very good, simply to have it APPROACH adequacy. Shouldn't a 4pc bonus or a major glyph slot push an ability past being "OK"? Should 4pc bonuses and major glyphs just make subpar abilities viable? I think that's wrong.

If the bonus/glyph read this, would you take it? "When three HoTs are active on your target, your Regrowth spell takes 0.5 seconds less to cast, costs X less mana, but removes the HoT portion of the spell."

That actually sounds kinda cool (apart from the fact that sometimes you need the HoT to go up, but just using it as an example comparing the two). So when you have 3 HoTs up, the heal hits for the same as a Regrowth, but it's a little faster and cheaper. That would be handy.

BUT - is that worth a major glyph slot or 4pc bonus? To get the same sized heal, a little faster and cheaper?

It's NICE, but I doubt I would take it over our other major glyph options.

If they don't stack after all, Nourish, for me, will go back to being the heal I choose when I need to heal several people in a big hurry (eg Sarth 10, KT), or when I want to keep chain-casting but need to conserve a little bit of mana while I do it. That, to me, does not make Nourish very attractive. It doesn't make me want to use it as my staple direct heal. It just puts it back into my "highly situational, hardly ever use it" slot, and unless I really need that extra 0.5sec (rarely) or I'm really hurting for mana (remains to be seen), it won't get much air time. Bring it out for 2 or 3 fights but otherwise keep on the shelf.

That would be very disappointing, after I thought we might actually be going to make it something we would use as our direct heal of choice when RG is already up.

Keeva said...


Basically, I don't want to fill a major slot or wear 4 pieces of T7 to give me a heal that I "might as well" use because it's a little cheaper. It's the "might as well" heal. Tank doesn't need a huge heal - "might as well" use Nourish.

If mana still isn't much of an issue (and I predict it won't be for me), then for me it will essentially be filling a major glyph slot to make my direct heal 0.5 seconds faster.

To some, that would be quite attractive. Personally, I don't care for it. I don't think that is a good use of a major glyph slot, and definitely not worth juggling gear around a 4pc bonus.

Keeva said...

Obviously a slightly bigger, slightly faster, slightly faster, slightly more crit heal is what I should use that glyph slot for, it makes sense that it wins out over the Regrowth one (despite the fact that you need to stack your HoTs to get the proper benefit).

But I was kinda thinking I would get something above and beyond what we already had, not just replacing the T7 bonus and tacking another 1% on the end.