Patch 5.4 Notes Are Out

14 06 2013

So some big news came out earlier this week. The patch notes for 5.4 have been released. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/10158897/

Bear in mind that as of this moment the PTR is not available for this patch, but it should be coming shortly. With all of the changes for Restoration Druids, I think I may download the PTR and have a look around. As it stands, we’re in for a real treat. As with all things PTR all, some, or none of these changes may make it to live, but from the amount of changes I’m seeing in the notes it appears that the Devs want to pay some lovin’ attention to us so we should see at least a few things come through.

Rank 4 Healing Touch has a very nice write-up on these proposed changes. http://r4healingtouch.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/preliminary-patch-5-4-resto-druid-changes/

I’d like to go over a few of my own thoughts on these notes. I won’t be discussing every change listed, just the ones that I find most interesting. So, without further adue, let’s jump right in.

Innervate is being changed so that it grants 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit as mana per second for 10 seconds. My Druid’s Spirit is currently 10089. For simplicity of math, let’s round that down to an even 10k Spirit. With that, I’ll be looking at 5k mana per second for 10 seconds, 50k mana total. Innervate currently returns 60k mana, so this could initially be a problem. However, keep in mind that I have the 522 mana trinket, the 502 Horridon trinket, and a Restoration Shaman co-healer that gives me Mana Tide Totem when I want it. Couple that with Flask of Spring Blossoms that I run, and mana usually isn’t a problem for me these days. This change is geared for heading into Tier 16 as our Spirit levels will rise and we will get better beneifit. Depending on how you work your stats, some Druids will get more return out of this than others. As gear levels rise, we should all see at least some increased mana from this.

The Dream of Cenarius talent is being reworked to give Restoration Druids an “Atonement” spec. This passive talent will increase Wrath’s damage by 20% and will heal a nearby ally for 100% of the damage dealt. Priests should not be concerned that we are moving in on their Atonement turf as Wrath does minimal damage and is not at all an efficient way of healing. This spell will be sueful for low damage periods when trying to use other healing spells will harm your mana reserves. Please note that Wrath’s mana cost has been increased by 50%.

Heart of the Wild will now also provide a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids. There are several opinions out about the usefulness of this aspect of the talent, and I still have not completely made up my own mind. Chances are I will continue to take Heart of the Wild for fights were our DPS is tight. Although, I may find that I like the new Dream of Cenarius talent. Time will tell.

Alright, how many of you are still here by this point? Believe me, those are the lackluster points of tis post. These points certainly have potential, but they are certainly not what I’m bragging to my co-healers about. The bragging points are as follows:

Allow me to be the first to tell you (well, maybe not the first) that Wild Mushroom will be mobile. Note I said Wild Mushroom…without the s. Wild Mushroom will now plant a single mushroom on the ground that will accumulate 100% overhealing from Rejuvenation. This is down from 150%, which I assume has to do with the say the math worked with 3 mushrooms. You can expect that your single mushroom will take longer to charge. However, if you need to move the mushroom, you can recast the Wild Mushroom and it will retain its previous charge. This will allow you to move a charged mushroom any number of times as needed for stack positions. More usefulness on the mobility to come when I talk about Efflorescence in a few. Please note that Wild Mushroom can no longer crit.

Nature’s Swiftness will no longer be a talent and will be learned by all Restoration Druids at level 30. This is important as Nature’s Swiftness is both an emergency cooldown as well as a throughput CD (throughput in that it increases the heal used by 50%). I took this talent and have never changed it. I believe that Ysera’s Gift is the new talent that will be taking its place, and I will likely take Ysera’s Gift over the other options.

While we’re on the topic of emergency heals, a fascinating new Glyph is on the way: Glyph of Efflorescence. This Glyph will increase the healing done by Swiftmend by 20% and will cause Efflorescence to be triggered by the Wild Mushroom. The Efflorescence effect will be centered around the Mushroom and will exist as long as the mushroom is on the field. Ladies and Gentledruids, Efflorescence can now have an extremely high uptime, be placed where ever we want it, and will not be wasted when forced to use a Swiftmend to heal a range that is not standing near anyone. Someone kick on the “Happy Days” show theme song, please.

An interesting change that I never forsaw coming is the change to Soul of the Forest. For Restoration Druids the spell haste granted by using Swiftmend will be increased to 100%, up from 75%. For those of you using Soul of the Forest to buff your Wild Growth, this haste increase will further amaze you. Couple this with your Lifeblood ability (no reason for a Druid not to pick flowers IMHO >.>) and you can heal some serious damage.

This just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? I feel like a Infomercial salesman.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! ….No, seriously, there’s more.

Genesis is a new ability for Restoration Druids that will be learned at level 88. For a lack of being able to explain this better than the Patch notes, I quote:

“Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.” (PTR 5.4)

Genesis will not cause Rejuvenation to heal more, only to do all of its healing in a very short period of time. To once again reference Rank 4 Healing Touch’s post on 5.4, casting multiple Rejuvenations around the raid and hitting Genesis will cause the last Rejuvenation to expire in about 2.5 seconds (assuming you hit Gensis immediately after casting the last Rejuvenation) and the Rejuvenations cast prior to the last to expire in a time determined by their remaining duration. I want to reinforce that Genesis will only effect the Rejuvenations that you have cast and will have no impact on Rejuvenations cast by other druids.

This could be a massive combo chain for Druids in 5.4. I myself already use Soul of the Forest to buff Wild Growth when large damage occurs. Imagine predictable raid-wide damage occurring in which you can throw out multiple Rejuvenations, cast Genesis, pop a Swiftmend before all of the Rejuvenations expire, and follow it up with a buffed Wild Growth. Oh, and remember that Wild Growth will be buffed to 100% spell haste. Sexy.

Needless to say I am very interested in how 5.4 will develop. Please keep in mind that all of this is PTR and some or all of these points may be changed, reworked, or removed all together.

As a final note, I want to point out to you, as a healer, that Shadow Priests and Balanced Druids will no longer take 15% reduced damamge and Warlocks’ Fel Armor will no longer reduce damage taken by 10%.

Assuming you have managed to stay with me to the end of this post, what are your thoughts on these changes? Are you excited? Confused? Or maybe you think that we need further tweaking. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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