Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Restoration druid itemization

I'm not sure if I'm back yet. I was looking at some spreads in Wowhead trying to decide what items held the most value for me as a restoration druid as we progress through 10-man Naxxramas and stumbled across an oddity in the itemization for druids.

There seems to be an issue here: there are exactly 3 items at level 200 (item level that drops in 10-man Naxxramas) that do not have wasted stats on them for a resto druid. Only one of them is leather: the tier 7 helm that can be exchanged for the token that drops for Kel'thuzad. The other two are cloth (one priest-only).

What am I calling wasted stats? Haste, crit and hit rating are wasted stats, in my opinion. Haste and crit are not *truly* wasted since they do modify our stats, but their value is minimal when compared to mp5, spirit and spell power. And it seems that the vast majority of items, whether meant for dps casters or healers sports *either* spirit *or* mp5. Not both, except in the very rare occasions I mentioned. Instead, copious amounts of +haste, +crit and +hit are applied to items: in the same subset of items (ilvl 200 items) there are 19 that sport spell power, spirit and haste and 26 that have spell power spirit and critical strike rating.

This isn't a post whining about druid itemization. The point I am trying to make is that Blizzard obviously thinks we should be stacking something on our gear *other* than what I had thought we needed to be stacking. But what? What is our playstyle supposed to be? A session in Naxx last night showed me that we will be spending very little time outside the 5 second rule. And given that our spells cost more, there is no more chain potting, mana becomes an issue that it never was in BC.

Perhaps what we are supposed to do is separate our spirit from our mp5. There are 16 items that have spell power and mp5 without spirit (including a fair amount of duplication: 3 rings, 3 cloaks, 2 helmets and 2 chestpieces) but fewer than that are not more appropriate to other classes than healing druids and priests (and lets be realistic: no raid is going to look kindly upon looting an item with +hit (for example) to a healer when a dpser can use it, and for good reason).

There is a large number of items that have spirit and spell power so stacking spirit is not going to be a problem. But since we will be spending less time outside the 5 second rule, spirit becomes less important for mana regeneration (though still valuable for spell power since tree form adds a percentage of it to our healing power).

How do you guys see it? How should we look to gear ourselves as we get further into the raiding scene? This question is also valid for the other healing classes, though shamans and paladins probably have more choices available to them in mail and plate and I know +crit is a lot more valuable to them than to restoration druids. But I think the question is also valid for priests, since they also tended to stack more spirit on their gear pre-Wrath.


coles said...

I don't see a big issue with itemization right now. First off, I think spirit is very useful even within 5 secs. 1 mp5 = about 2.5 mp5. I have a mix of 200 and 215 level gear. Most of my pieces have spirit and no mp5 and I never run out of mana. Can make it through the majority of boss fights without even using inervate. I stack mainly SP in gem slots and I usually have the top healing numbers by a long shot. As for crit vs. haste. I think that depends on the way you like to heal as a druid. I generally use only HoT's. Glyphed/talented regrowth, rejuv, lifeblooms, etc. I only cast HT or nourish if someone needs to be topped of in a hurry. Therefore, I like gear with haste over crit, as it reduces my global cooldown and decreases cast time on regrowth. I think if I favored glyphed HT and/or nourish as my go to heals I'd rather have more crit.

coles said...

I meant to say that 1 mp5 = 2.5 spirit.