2.36 defense rating = 1 defense25 defense = -1% chance to be crit by level 70 opponent,25 defense = +1% dodge39.4 resilience = -1% chance to be crit by level 70 opponent,39.4 resilience = -2% damage from crits39.4 resilience = -1% damage from DoTs1 agility = 2 armor14.7 agility = 1% dodge1 agility = 0.1% chance to crit1 strength = 2 attack power14 attack power = 1 dps
Druid The range of Cyclone has been reduced to 20 yards. (was 30 yards before)
While this is not a huge change to anyone that plays a druid primarily in PvE , it comes as a major blow to the many druids that make their living in arenas and, to a somewhat lesser extent, battlegrounds. Along with the nerf to the "bloom" part of Lifebloom, it serves as a reminder from Blizzard that they are trying to balance PvP so that no one class has an overwhelming advantage. A few days ago, Kalgan (WoW lead developer) posted in the Warlock forums suggesting that in 2v2 and 3v3 arena teams that had a score over 2200, druids were overrepresented to the tune of 276% and 184% respectively (100% being what they would expect representation to be given the information they have regarding the class). By comparison, druids were *under*represented in the 5v5 category, coming in at only 80.5% (source). I don't claim to be anything resembling a PvP guru when it comes to druids. In fact, my own arena rating is extremely poor. Which is why I am rather offended when people suggest that it takes no skill to PvP as a resto druid. If it took no skill then those of us who are primarily PvE spec'd and geared, should be relatively successful in arenas, while I know from experience that this is not the case. Having stated my credentials (see last paragraph) I can still make some speculations as to why resto druids are overrepresented in some successful arena brakets and underrepresented in others:
Of course these are the speculations of a druid who does not often find himself in PvP situations. If anyone else has any insights, I would be glad to hear them and even include them in this article.
In the last couple of days there has been a discussion on the druid forums about the relative merits of the two top tier restoration talents. Both Furor and Improved Mark of the Wild are 5 point talents so taking points in either one will allow you access to the juicier tier 2 talents: Naturalist, Nature’s Focus and Natural Shapeshifter. Let’s look at the two talents in detail first and then we’ll get to some of the arguments made in the discussion:
Improved Mark of the Wild: increases the effects of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild by 7/14/21/28/35%. At level 70, an untalented Mark of the Wild provides 340 armor, increases all attributes by 14 and all resistances by 25. When augmented by a full 5-point IMotW this becomes 459 armor, 18 to all attributes and 33 to resistances.
Furor: Gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form or 40 energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form. Normally, you would have to wait for 4 seconds after shifting into cat form to accrue that much energy and you would have to do white damage or Enrage
The arguments made to support Furor:
There was very little argument in the thread, even between those druids disagreeing about which of the talents to take. The general concensus was that Mark of the Wild is a very weak buff that scales not at all and that IMotW is a marginal talent not worth a single talent point, let alone 5. However, while MotW and IMotW are so weak, Furor provides little to no benefit for a raiding restoration-spec'd druid.
I must say that I have to concur with these assessments. Pre-Burning Crusade, MotW was a relatively strong buff, comparable with Prayer of Fortitude and Arcane Intellect. However with the advent of Burning Crusade, the buff received from the spell has become marginal, at best. In trying to do everything, it ends up contributing almost nothing. If the resistances provided by MotW stacked with those provided by other classes (totem of fire/frost resistance or paladin auras), it would be something at least. As things stand, there is little enough reason to even cast MotW, let alone spend 5 valuable talent points to give it a 35% buff.
Furor, on the other hand, contributes nothing to a raid. If a druid is engaged in endgame content and not interested in PvP, there is no reason to take this talent. So a 35% increase to something very small is preferable to nothing at all. Don't get me wrong, I think Furor is a GREAT talent. But for a druid that spends their time in 10- and 25-man raids, it has very little, if any application at all. A raid leader may ask for IMotW, but, if they are not a druid, they may be ignorant of how little it actually helps: 119 armor and +4 to all attributes is not something to write home about.
In the final analysis, it is up to each individual druid how to use their first five restoration talent points. If one is a feral, Furor is a no-brainer. For balance druids (rare as they are) IMotW is marginally more useful than the nothing they get from Furor (unless they pvp). Restoration druids have to make the choice between a talent that is useful only to them or one that has a marginal usefulness to their raid.
Lifebloom: The bonus coefficient on the final bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. This spell will no longer cause error messages when interacting with Spellsteal or while the Druid is under the effects of Mind Control. Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%.
Being primarily a PvE healy druid, I am very happy with this change. The HoT aspect of Lifebloom remains unchanged, while the bloom is nerfed somewhat. As I explained before, the HoT is very important to druid raid healing because we can roll it (meaning, continually refresh a stack with minimal effort) on several tanks, while the final bloom is much less of an issue. This is a much more serious development for druids that are a lot more into PvP. The final bloom is always an issue since players have many different ways of keeping themselves alive and can survive, long enough for that final bloom to be a lifesaver, even though the 200 or so health provided by the HoT every second is not as important. If my reasoning is flawed here, please forgive me; my PvP skills and knowledge is sadly lacking.
The second change is something that I would like to touch on also: the cost of regrowth has been reduced by 20%. Regrowth has long been a bane of the resto druid's mana pool. At a whopping 845 mana, it can chew through a large mana pool in seconds. This change sets the cost at 540 mana if cast while in tree form. This is a HUGE change. The spell suddenly grows a lot more attractive to use in long boss fights when it would normally be overlooked. Phae, over at resto4life (the definitive resto druid blog, check it out if you haven't already) has an interesting analysis of it here:
Phae makes some rather compelling arguments for using regrowth a LOT more than we currently do. I tend to agree, but don't think we will be scrapping rejuvenation or lifebloom any time soon