There have been several recent announcements that haven't been updated to this thread.
Furor is now a feral talent, heart of the wild (15% maximum mana increase) will take it's place in resto. It should also be noted that it's been implied in another thread that the 2% intellect increase of furor that was switched to not be moonkin only, could be going back to moonkin only.
A thread including quite a bit of feedback on the resto druid model in cataclysm. Amidst all of the back and forth between GC and those disliking the cataclysm model is a very nice break down of the developer's current model for our spells.
In our minds, you have efficient spells that can't keep someone alive in dangerous situations (Rejuv and Nourish). You have expensive spells that can, but are expensive. Regrowth isn't mana efficient. Swiftmend has a cooldown. Lifebloom is efficient on one target with many stacks, but can't be tossed around randomly. Then you have a slow spell that can help keep someone alive through heavy damage (HT). On top of all of that, you have an AE hot (WG), a zone-based but unreliable AE (Efflorescence), a short term cooldown (ToL) and a long-term cooldown (Tranquility). You should have a tool for almost any situation that arises.
There is also mention of a possible talent to get rejuvenation to a 1 second gcd and possibly removing the wounded restriction from Nature's Bounty (aka a flat +30% crit on regrowth).
Empowered Rejuvenation is still listed as To Be Redone on the latest Beta build, so that would seem to be the logical place to put a GCD reduction as they've stated a goal to remove coefficient boosting talents. Putting it back in GotEM doesn't work out so well as GotEM has become more of a PvP talent.
Naturalist being back in Tier 2 has really soaked up some points, making it very hard to pick up Perseverance or GotEM without pulling more points out of Balance. Removing the limitation on Nature's Bounty would necessitate a nerf of Efflorescence, which is going to have to happen at some point anyway.
I am going to try to compare druid with holy priest, healer closest to us in spirit:
Renew+PoM ~ Rejuv (rejuv is stronger, but priests have PoM to compensate).
CoH ~ WG (WG heals for more, CoH is instant, a wash)
Heal ~ Nourish
Greater Heal ~ Healing Touch
Divine Hymn ~ Tranquility
PW:S ~ Swiftmend (Swiftmend is more powerful and actually heals, PW:S has an implicit 15 sec cd on one person, but can be used every 4 seconds on different people, PW:S has a talented speed boost)
Inspiration ~ Lifebloom (lifebloom is better vs low incoming damage, can guarantee 100% uptime, works on all damage, actually heals, inspiration good vs hard physical hits, can go on multiple targets in principle, no mana cost, but is a proc)
Flash Heal ~ Regrowth (not exactly comparable yet, also Efflorescence is a wild card)
Unique holy priest abilities: guardian spirit (tank cd), lifegrip + body&soul (raid mobility), PoH+serendipidy and Holy Nova (aoe burst).
Unique druid abilities: Efflorescence (zone aoe, proc based), Tree (45 second 15% healing boost (plus minor spell perks), 5 minute cd), battle rez (much weaker now -- one use per encounter).
Preliminary view: priests have better cds, efflorescence would have to end up being more awesome than priest aoe toys in order to keep healer parity. Big concern with hots being inefficient is that if a few people are at 70%, it's more efficient to chain heal than put up a few hots as GC suggests.
Switching Furor and HotW does seem to clear up some builds. The resto spec stills has quite a few weak spots:
1. Quite a few weak and boring talents - Blessing of the Grove, entire tier 1 of balance. NS feels outdated at this point and Empowered touch is quite underwhelming as well.
2. Adding to (1), MS and LS not only weak (MS borderline useless), they also cost 3 points each and are a preq to the "real" talents. NB is similar, although tweaking or removing the restriction will obviously help.
3. Rejuv that was regarded as an efficient heal costs 25% base mana. Granted as a hot it will be more efficient than a direct heal of the same HPS, but still, that is a bit of a stretch. Renew will heal for less but will cost a lot less, with 20% mana cost reduction compared to only 9% for Rejuv (which is partially exclusive with a Rejuv throughput boost) and a lower base cost. This makes Renew better for prehotting, even if we assume Rejuv gets a 1s gcd talent.
4. Both direct-only heals are barely prompted by the talent tree.
5. ToL is regarded as a short CD but at 5 minutes it's no better than tranq, that is up about once a fight. The boost some abilities get clearly need to be revised.
I don't think there is any desire by Blizz to provide the level of spell-to-spell parity between healing types that you are trying to create. They've said they want all healing specs to have the basic tools to raid heal, to tank heal, and to use cooldowns for stressing situations, which is supported by the changes thus far implemented in Cata.
Accordingly, your comparison between say Nourish/Heal is apt, but the line up fails when you start trying to equate things like PW:S/Swiftmend and Lifebloom/Inspiration. Inspiration makes a good parallel to our Living Seed, if anything. I think trying to force such a 1:1 comparison between our tools and those of any other healer is just setting yourself up for disappointment, honestly.
edit: directed at Rijndael's post, not Fallenangel's
Going back to having Regrowth on such an elevated crit chance when we are meant to be using Nourish and even HT more frequently is going to be a dangerous game for them to balance although the interaction with Efflorescence shouldn't be one of the issues if so.
The wounded mechanic they seem to want to throw about everywhere needs to be looked at properly too because it does have some merit provided they can get the implementation right. Having Regrowth with an elevated crit chance on targets below 50% shouldn't be that bad provided it is at most 20%~ as the balance they need to achieve is having a worthwhile perk without making it so key that casting Regrowth outside that window becomes a poor choice.
Empowered Touch still concerns me however as the LB refresh aspect is too good making the talent mandatory while it also essentially removes LB from our healing rotation again. Moving the refresh to a wounded state only provides us with the ability to ignore it when things are stressful while keeping the spell actually thought about when things are fine. They wanted healing to involve more interesting choices but our tank healing style seems to be poorly thought out right now - perhaps they are concerned if it isn't made so pathetically simple and effective then the community will never accept us as capable tank healers.
I agree, things are not simple, which is what makes the game interesting. I did not mean to imply exact one to one correspondence, but more "similar ecological niches."
For example, PW:S and Swiftmend (and Penance) occupy the same "ecological niche", in that holy priests use PW:S in a similar way to druids using Swiftmend, and discipline priests using Penance (to save people when time is of the essence, although again the analogy is not precise, which is why priests don't "feel" exactly like druids when you play them). Similarly, lifebloom and inspiration in Cata will have the "niche" of being a tank buffer. They are very different abilities, of course, with different strengths and so on, but that's how they will probably be used.
Re: Fallenangel's post:
Nourish has a 20% baseline boost from rejuv still, and will mostly be used on rejuved targets, so lack of propping talents isn't such a big deal, although I agree on HT. Talent bloat comments are completely spot on, I don't think it's possible to take all straight mana reduction and throughput talents in balance and resto right now (and feral has a +mana % talent now also..), let alone have points left over to pick and choose utility like GC wants.
Some ideas on Tree form spell boosts: lifebloom 1 target restriction lifted, rejuv longer duration (or mana cost cut), regrowth instant (like now), swiftmend cooldown halved, wild growth more targets (like now). Shorter duration with a 3 minute cd would make Tree a lot more appealing, agreed.
About Emp touch - disagree with it being too good. Unless the data on mmo-champ is false, LB is extremely cheap so rolling it is mostly a gcd lose. Granted a gcd saved every 7 seconds is good, but it does force you to cast a 2.5s (assuming you spec naturalist - which means losing out on Rejuv talents) heal in every such time frame. Even with a fair bit of haste this seemingly free refresh will occupy 30% of our rotation.
About Nourish - I did forget the 20% boost from hots but I'm not sure why you think it will be procced by Rejuv on a regular basis. If you have a Rejuv on someone, then either they're fine and will be patched by it or they're in danger and Nourish is too slow.
Right now our raid healing capabilities are reliant on good ol' Rejuv. Efflorescence is too shaky and will likely be changed if NB is changed. No, I don't want to chain an expensive heal and hope for a proc when I need to heal a group. Nourish is laughable when you compare it with the toolbox of CH / HS + hasted HL or WoG / the many AoE heals of a holy priest. This, along with GC's comment about Rejuv being an efficient heal (and therefore spammed) don't really sit with them wanting druids to cast more spells.
Nourish refreshing LB in a wounded state only would be fairly pointless, as low tank health is exactly the time you'd want to be casting something bigger. The big part about the current form is that it leaves every single GCD in a standard tank healing rotation produce at least some direct healing if you have GotEM for the direct Rejuv heal, though the Rejuv direct heal is probably the weakest part of it. That means we can provide a much more consistent flow of healing to a tank if we are in a situation where we're tank healing than we could if we had to spend GCDs on LB refreshes, even if the healing numbers are tweaked so we're providing the same average HPS on the tank with both setups. I still don't see us ending up in a tank healing role without a cooldown that can help deal with the semi-standard short sustained tank damage spikes from boss abilities - targetable barkskin would certainly fill that role - but outside that one issue of having applicable cooldown(s) to the role, our tank healing seems pretty solid. If you're raid healing and using LB for mana regen, I honestly expect slow rolling it on the tank normally to be the better choice so you can spend more time raid healing even if it's just nourishes.
For raid healing, Efflorescence may well to be intended as a major part of our multitarget healing based on the lack of change away from the current setup. Even ignoring probable balance issues with the numbers, that doesn't sit too well with me - things that are just a chance to occur are suboptimal as a major healing source for the same reason avoidance is disliked as a focus for tanking - it can fail to occur and thus doesn't help worst case at all. Over the course of a fight it will work fine (well, unless it's a really bad day), but on a given boss AoE damage phase that you'd normally case 5 regrowths and a wild growth during, if you're up at 50% raid buffed crit (random number based on at least not ignoring crit, and ease of math) that's a little over 3% chance for no efflorescence and an additional 15.6% or so chance to only have one. If Efflorescence is significant healing (and nevermind the currently pretty major numbers) that's at least a heavy burden on the other raid healers and possibly deaths if the damage is tuned high enough. If it's going to be a crit proc, it needs to be relatively minor and our other options balanced accordingly, or we're going to end up in a situation where we can either do tons of healing on a fight or very little and have it be entirely luck and not player choices at all - 30% over 7 seconds might work, 30% per second for 7 seconds is going vary far too much based on luck with crits. The when of healing is critical enough that it doesn't average out nearly as well as dps can, not that I recall them letting a damage spell get away with anything approaching that high of a crit bonus.
I'd also think a tank being in a wounded state would be one of the times when you'd want to see LB bloom. It'd be much more interesting if that mechanic was tied to the wounded state, something along the lines of "Causes your lifebloom to automatically bloom when a target drops below 35% health." Though you'd lose the stabilization effect, perhaps something more like, "Causes a target to be healed for your lifeblooms bloom amount when they drop below 35%"
I'm not a big fan of arm chair development but I think it would be nice if blizzard gave us some kind of "wounded auto-heal" to make up for the lack of things like guardian spirit or the armor increase buff. All of which translate into healers effects that increase the EH of a tank.
It took me awhile to figure out what I don't like about efflorescence but I think I finally put my finger on it. Regrowth is intended to be our fast inefficient heal...that in my mind would be used for random spike damage that needs to be quickly healed on a tank or raider. Efflorescence is useful for times when you have small raid wide AoE...the two times you need them seem on opposite sides of the spectrum. I have this feeling druids are going to be having a lot of over healing because we will be spamming unneeded regrowth on people to proc efflorescence.
I would really like to see efflorescence get tied to a different spell, or else changed to a cast spell. A cast "Drops healing plants at the targets feet causing him and your allies to heal for XX over YY" would be much better. And stop all of the QQ about no new spells.
Not to derail the current line of talk on the value of Efflorescence and our tool sets. But I wanted to run some wild growth math by people
I need someone who has access to more tools at the moment to double check my numbers. I’m napkin math’ing it here at work but I thought the math looked interesting. I wanted to look at what the effect of the double dipping of wild growth in cataclysm will have on the ratio of its performance relative to circle of healing (and ultimately mana cost).
These numbers are based off of a 25% chance to crit, current values taken from some WoL entries of priests and druids I know, and varying amounts of haste. I am opting for lower values of haste under the assumption that in cataclysm those will go down. What I need some clarification on from people here is how haste interacts with hots. For the purposes of my math I’m using absolute effective haste % (after diminishing returns) and I am assuming that when a HoT is sped up and the last tick is brought in a new tick is formed at the end of its duration. What I do not know is when that tick is formed. E.g. if your haste makes it so that the 6 ticks of WG occur in 5.5 seconds, do you get a 7th tick at 6 seconds? Do you need to decrease the time between ticks enough such that the new tick created occurs in the same time interval as the two before it.
Now on to the math:
Circle of Healing
Average Non-crit: 4200 Average Crit: 6300 Effective Average (based on 25% crit): 4725
Average tick: 11500 Total over 6 ticks: 6900
Ratio of WG to CoH: 1.46 or a 46% increase
This isn’t really new I think it was commonly accepted WG healed for 50% more but over time (a HoT versus direct tax perhaps)
Including Haste and Crit it seems to change drastically
Average tick: 1150 Average Crit Tick: 1725 Effective Average (based on 25% crit): 1294
This math is crazy simplified however it does seem to show we are paying for this differential with the significantly higher casting cost on Wild Growth. My question to people here would be would you prefer to have Wild Growth reduced to bring it’s output based on 6 ticks in line with circle of healing if it also meant having its casting cost reduced accordingly. You would still have the benefit of scaling it higher with haste, but you would also be penalized less if each use of the heal didn’t hit its maximum number of wounded targets. This is purely speculation at this point am I’m bored at work.
Yeah, Efflorescence does feel opposite of Regrowth. It also feels "forced"... Like a lot of fixes squeezed into one talent: use Regrowth more, make crit attractive, small AoE heal, etc.
Originally Posted by Ogbar
Something along the lines of "Causes your lifebloom to automatically bloom when a target drops below 35% health."
Interesting idea. If the bloom also healed for more when auto-consumed, I can see this working. Finding a good time to restack LB would add some needed complexity. Not exactly a tank cooldown but close enough. Also, this would fit nicely into the GotEM talent.
Quick question about Regrowth, what's the cast time on it in the beta? MMO-Champion - Druid Cataclysm lists it at 2s but the tooltip says 1.5s. If it's the former, then it hardly counts as a fast / flash heal.
I think we should view efflorescence more as a mana saving tool than something to be relied on in heavy aoe situations (personally I'm almost certain the numbers will be significantly tweaked down, something to the order of 80-90%).
We already have a relatively strong tool set for predictable aoe with prehots and wild growth, I don't think we can be balanced around the assumption that we'd need efflorescence to be on par with other healers.
That's where I think the disconnect is. I'm not so sure what we do in Cataclysm to handle heavy AoE situations, I am admittedly not in the beta.
Rejuvenation is now expensive and shorter, wild growth is expensive and on a long cooldown. I think the only good answers we have for heavy AoE are efflorescence and tranquility (super long cooldown). Don't get me wrong, I don't think the sky is falling but currently the paladin AoE situation appears to be in better shape than the druid.
Also, efflorescence is some serious healing, especially since it can be stacked, I don't think we will be able to consider it a bonus rather than a core mechanic.