Mar 31

More content to come: Battle for Azeroth

Dear readers… I apologise for a long and unexplained hiatus. I will be back and writing some articles for Battle for Azeroth. I got alpha access today and I look forward to sharing my thoughts. I don’t know what the future holds long term yet (full disclosure, I don’t know if I’m certain to continue playing or if I do, whether that will be as the greatest class/specialisation combo ever to grace the World of Warcraft or something different).

Battle for Azeroth alpha posts to follow


Legion was a real fizzer of an expansion for me for a few reasons, despite a really awesome start. I’m hoping Battle for Azeroth brings me some more reasons to keep playing.

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Oct 01

Resto Druid Stat Priority in Legion 7.0.3

A lot of guides I’ve seen have been pretty cut and dry about the resto druid stat priority and where they rank Mastery. Some will go on to explain that Mastery is better than Crit for dungeon content, and Crit is better for raiding. As a rule of thumb, that is pretty solid advice. Particularly with the changes to rings and necks no longer having Intellect, the choice of second priority stat is a big one. If you’re interested in getting it right though, you really have to look carefully at Mastery, as its weighting changes according to both situation and your own play. There are certainly sites and guides out there that get the priorities and weights of the other secondary stats correct.

So far, I’ve had difficulty drawing perfectly mathematically sound stat weights for resto druids (partly because of design changes and Blizzard’s current philosophy of hiding information), but I’ve come up with what seems to be a fairly good estimate. I’m not too concerned with it not being perfect though, because the nature of Mastery now means that your playstyle determines how much you’ll get out of Mastery. Gone are the days when Mastery was a flat healing increase across the board, although it’s still a really terrific stat that lets you maximize its potential through the decisions you make in healing.

I’m going to share my own personal normalized stat weights, and hopefully give you the knowledge to come to the correct stat weighting decision. Note that I’m not really raiding actively and I’m mainly running Mythic+ dungeons. I get in to some Emerald Nightmare (N) runs, and will likely move on to (H) in the future, but it’s not my priority, and I’m not a “progression” raider. If you’re like me, these numbers could work well for you. If not, I’d encourage you to read on and work out your own weight. Just bear in mind that most of these are pretty close together, regardless of which comes out ahead.


Mythic+ Stat Priority

  • Int = 1
  • Crit = 0.592
  • Haste = 0.625
  • Versatility 0.518
  • Mastery = 0.61

Pawn String

( Pawn: v1: “M+Resto-SometimesATree”: Intellect=1, HasteRating=0.625, MasteryRating=0.61, CritRating=0.592, Leech=0.1, Versatility=0.518, MovementSpeed=0.05 )

Notes on my pawn weights:

Value of secondary stats to Int is taken from Ask Mr Robot, my estimate was very close to theirs – the secondary stats are all normalized from one another.

I consider the +Speed affix to be non-zero because it gives a minor benefit. It’s definitely non-zero. I would consider each situation where I was going to take an item over another because of Speed very carefully, and there are certainly situations where it’s not relevant.

My leech values are a little lower than others might rank it. This is because while there is a very real and non-zero benefit, it’s situational. There are also situations in Mythic+ where you don’t actually want leech to be causing any healing.



Crit is essentially a flat healing throughput increase. Each critical strike increases your amount healed by 100%. While every tick is subject to chance, over time a Crit chance of 20% will mean +20% to your total healing. With the number of ticks we are responsible for over the course of an encounter or instance, it very quickly normalizes.

It takes about 350 points of crit rating in order to gain 1% crit chance (and therefore 350 crit rating is +1% increase to your healing done).



Mastery is a great deal more nuanced than Crit.

First of all, it takes about two thirds more Mastery rating to achieve a 1% Mastery increase – about 583 mastery rating. However, Mastery increases your healing done by the Mastery amount for every one of your HOTs on the target. This means that if you are able to stack HOTs on a target, then you are very quickly going to gain a lot of bonus healing.

Second, this means that the type of content you are running matters. It is especially useful in dungeons where you only have 5 targets and it’s pretty realistic to maintain blanket HOTs to ensure most heals are benefitting from multiple HOT bonuses. In raids, especially with larger groups, you’re going to want to spread your HOTs further. 10 consecutive, on-cooldown casts of Rejuv evenly split across 5 people in a dungeon is going to heal for more than 10 consecutive, on-cooldown casts on unique targets in a raid group.

Mastery synergises with artifact traits and talents. Most notable is the golden trait Power of the Archdruid, which can trigger 2 additional Rejuv or Regrowth HOTs on allies. Persistence increases Rejuv duration (extending Mastery’s bonus). The Flourish talent also increases the duration of all HOTs. A little less directly, the Abundance talent reduces the cast time of Healing Touch for each of your HOTs active, which of course means the quicker it becomes it will also increase further in power.

Power of the Archdruid

Power of the Archdruid is the artifact trait with the greatest synergy with Mastery: Harmony


Key pointers about Mastery: Harmony bonus

  • The first HOT on a target benefits from this effect (so if your only HOT on the target is 1 Rejuv, it gets the bonus from Mastery)
  • The first HOT benefits from the application of a second HOT (so if you apply a Germination Rejuv, both HOTs will increase by your Mastery %) resulting in a multiplicative bonus
  • Regrowth’s HOT is applied AFTER the direct heal – the direct heal will not benefit from its own HOT application
  • Neither Tranquility nor Efflorescence are a HOT
  • The spells that trigger a Mastery increase are:
    • Rejuvenation
    • Rejuvenation (Germination)
    • Cultivation
    • Cenarion Ward (HOT effect)
    • Lifebloom
    • Regrowth (HOT portion only)
    • Wild Growth


How to work it out

Go ahead and do your own evaluation before you commit to changing your stat priority. First, just try to play by maximizing your Mastery bonus for every heal possible. Try to only cast direct heals at targets with at least a couple of HOTs rolling. Importantly, capture the combat logs!

Analyse those logs to determine what your average Mastery benefit was per cast. It’ll likely be between 1 and 2, and the closer it is to two, the more it weighs. 1.67 is the break-even point with crit (at which point two pieces of gear, one with mastery and one with crit, equal in those values and all others, are identical). From this, you can work out your comparison for crit. Bear in mind that this will vary by content, so if you run a lot of Mythic+ dungeons like me, chances are your Mastery will be a lot more valuable.



What to look for in Pawn strings

A lot of people tend to share Pawn strings that are, in the same way as mine, not mathematically true (ie there is some underlying assumption or estimate like I’ve stated). Still, not all are equal, and here are some values so that you can make sure the core ratio is down:

  • Mastery isn’t easily calculated to a flat throughput increase and will vary by how you play and which instance/type of content you’re doing.
  • Crit and Versatility (healing increase) can be calculated to a flat throughput increase.
  • Versatility’s healing increase is worth about 87.5% of crit. Do a quick check – is Versatility any less than 87.5% of the crit weight? If so, it’s improperly calculated. If it’s slightly more, there’s probably a little weight added due to the survivability increase. I don’t consider this as I limit my focus to throughput gains.
  • Haste has 2 factors – the increase to HOT ticks (flat increase to HOTs only) and reduction in cast and GCD time.


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Nov 29

Resto Druid Artifact Weapon Traits

A lot of details about the resto druid artifact weapon in Legion have popped up around the web. The artifact weapon has “traits”, which is a secondary talent system that applies to your weapon. Here’s an early look at the resto druid weapon traits of our staff G’Hanir, The Mother Tree. Remember this is a very early release of info and it is certain to change. It’s still really cool to get a feel for the direction the artifact weapon will be taking us! Note that most tool tips feature a 0 in place of an actual value, or have a placeholder or missing string of text where the actual effect will go in.



Resto druid artifact weapon G’Hanir. Source: Blizzard


A Brief Overview of Artifact Weapons

The initial trait will be your first trait. You don’t get any choice here but to drop a point in it. I wouldn’t mind betting this is a fairly early unlock, either part of the early quest chain that gives us the artifact weapon or soon after we actually it.

Major traits are the big game changers. They’ll require at least 4-5 minor traits chosen to unlock them in a particular path, so you’ll need to decide where your priorities are. There seem to be two direct path options to each. It might mean that one you really want has a path with traits focused around mana regen, while another less appealing major has a pth with minor traits focused on throughput gains, so there’ll be lots of choices opening up.

Minor traits give a solid increase across the board. They can be upgraded with relics, but you’ll only need to go in to one point in order to open the next.

Eventually you will unlock every trait. As yet it’s unclear how long this will take. It’s also unclear whether we will get enough relics to upgrade every minor trait to rank 3.



Source: MMO Champion


WoWDB has an early release of a trait calculator which will let you play around with the traits of the artifact weapon!

Resto Druid Artifact Weapon G'Hanir forms

Artifact Weapon Progression Paths

I think it’s pretty likely that the 3 major traits of our artifact weapon will be a requirement to have ASAP, and most people will want to plan their trait progression path in terms of “which minor traits do I need, that also let me get to the major trait as efficiently as possible”.


Power of the Arch Druid

Power of the Archruid at this stage is a big AoE healing throughput gain. You’ll get 8-for-1 casts of Rejuvenation or Regrowth. This is a ridiculous amount of healing per mana and healing per global cooldown. This area of the tree includes traits focused around around mana efficiency (a mana regen and a reduced spell cost, as well as an increased HoT duration). Increased HoT duration synyergises particularly well with Power of the Archdruid. Another path to Power of the Archdruid focuses more on the power of direct heals, through a direct boost to Swiftmend and a boost to living seed that comes from Regrowth. The living seed change synergises particularly well with Power of the Archdruid also.



Dreamwalker looks like it’s the semi-passive reimagining of Genesis. It requires activation through other spells (which I like) and gives a huge buff to HoT spells. Grovewalker is a straight increase to HoT healing and synergises well. Nature’s Essence grants a direct heal to Wild Growth. This is nice if it’s an additional heal, but the way it’s worded, it could mean WG will still heal for the same amount, it will just be sacrificing a percentage of the HoT for a direct heal – the lack of relic upgradability I think suggests this is more likely. However, that would mean that this synergises worse with Dreamwalker (but in its own right, still brilliant). Essence of Nordrassil makes Healing Touch a shorter cast, which also synergises by activating Dreamwalker quicker. Also in the vicinity of Dreamwalker is Armor of the Ancients being more valuable than Nature’s Essence pre-raid. Repetitive Blooming is going to be removed and so not worth a second thought.


Tranquil Mind

Tranquil Mind removes the channel from Tranquility, so it will effectively be a set and forget. This is more like other classes’ big heals (holy priests are getting the same change to Divine Hymn).

One path to Tranquil Mind has a big focus on boosting direct heals, but it’s also only one additional point away from Armor of the Ancients, so its progression is very similar to Dreamwalker.



There are multiple paths which will let you unlock two major traits with 8 points (including the initial trait). Tranquil Mind features in all – you can get Dreamwalker & Tranquil Mind in 8, or you can get Power of the Archdruid & Tranquil Mind in 8, but you won’t be able to get Dreamwalker and Power of the Archdruid in any less than 9.

There is one path that lets you unlock all three majors in in just 11 points, as opposed to alternatives which require 12. Whether it will be worthwhile doing this is another matter, and doing this would require you to forego Grovewalker, which might be the best single minor trait on the tree.


Key Questions

One important question is whether you can get all traits unlocked before beginning raiding. Some minor traits will be much more valuable early in the first raid tier – such as anything that helps your mana. If you’re not in to raiding but are going to be big on dungeon content, throughput will be your ideal. One thing I’ll point out though is that the design team seem to have nailed it with the minor traits focused on mana leading in a progression path to the major talent which is arguably most specific to raiding.

One possibility is that we will unlock the full range (or most) of 1/1 traits over the course of levelling to 110, or immediately after. Relics will then be the gate, with your higher end raiders with better progression getting more relic drops and therefore a better artifact weapon through the upgrades (much like they have better gear in general). The thing is, a lot of these traits have a set bonus feel to them, and having players unlock tools over the course of the expansion to make them more powerful and change their playstyle would be cool – historically my favourite tier set bonuses are those that really make you change your playstyle, and cast something where before you might have cast another. They add a lot of thought and complexity – in a good way.

Another key question is, will we unlock ALL traits? I was pretty sure it was announced that this was the case, but I can definitely see it being possible that there are say, 3 minor traits you can’t take, and you need to make a decision which ones they are. However, I have no issue if we all end up the same in the end and the customization was limited to the acquisition of talents. There will definitely be min/max-ability if there are some number of traits that can’t be taken, and we’ll all end up with the same looking trait tree anyway.

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Nov 18

Theorycrafting: Cautions & Fallacies

For a long time now, I’ve been in to theorycrafting, and I always tend to do my own math to figure things out even when someone else has done so before me, if only to confirm they are accurate (or to practice my own ability, to either try to reach the same result or understand how we differed – I’m not a “natural” mathematician). You might be surprised how often I find an idea or assumption made that I can appreciate the logic that led someone to that conclusion, but find it not true to reality at all. There are times though that it’s not all about maths. Sometimes, the maths takes us off course, misdirecting us while we focus on it instead of the reality.

The question may become more philosophical in nature – is there a way to determine when maths won’t cut it?

First of all, I need to point out that I’m not attacking anyone or claiming anyone is necessarily wrong. There is a tremendous amount of value in people who look at extremes, and it’s OK to look at the “perfect” numbers to come up with. Generally, the people who do this don’t tell you that you’re a fool for thinking that the reality is not quite so intense as they are describing, in one way or another. I’m going to give a couple of examples of fallacious thinking – in both cases, beyond thinking those people thinking this way are wrong, I’ve held no ill will towards them, and generally still had a lot of respect for them.


The More Haste, Less Mana argument

When I first got in to really reading and understanding how to play a druid – somewhere around Ulduar/ToGC – I was an avid reader of all the usual sources for theorycrafting. One thing I couldn’t get my head around was what so many people were saying – having higher haste means more mana consumption.

empty-vialNow, I can understand how someone gets there logically, but it’s just totally fallacious. If you ever read my post about understanding healing meters, you’ll know that the amount of healing you can possibly do at any point in time is dependent on the amount of damage that has been sustained previously. All healers in your group are then vying for a “share” of healing that damage.

At the end of the day, your mana will be spent either healing damage sustained by the raid, or over-healing. If you have low over-healing, the additional healing you’re doing is either healing an amount that otherwise would have been healed by someone else (resulting maybe in over-healing on their part that might not have been otherwise) or allowing you to keep up with damage that you otherwise couldn’t have (i.e. people would have died).

Now, that’s not to say there’s no benefit to that – by being the greedy healer who grabs all the damage before your co-healers, you take the pressure off them and might find you can afford to have a healer switch to DPS. However, the point is, you aren’t spending more mana for the same amount of healing, unless you’re wasting it by over-healing.

Of course, this would be a legitimate drawback if fights went on long enough that going out-of-mana were a certainty, and you had to maintain maximum healing throughout the course of the fight. Not many fights in WoW are like that though.


The Run Speed = Throughput Debate

The first time I remember this coming up, I’m pretty sure my guild was progression on Bastion of Twilight, back in Cataclysm. Back then, there were enchants that gave you a a pure increase to a stat – say +30 mastery (I honestly don’t remember the numbers and it was pre-item squish). There were also enchants that sacrificed some amount of that stat for an increase to run speed – say +26 mastery & 10% run speed. A fellow theorycrafting guildy explained that the run speed equated to a throughput increase, because every time he had to move out of something, he started casting a little earlier, and those fractions of a second sooner he began casting added up to additional casts over the course of a fight. I told him the run speed should only be considered in PvP.

Image: Wowhead

Image: Wowhead

Ignoring that this applies least to resto druids than anyone thanks to our mobility while healing, it is wrong for any class. The reason for this is, there is no fight where the movement mechanics line up cleanly with the end of a cast every time – ie that you have exactly enough time for five three-second casts and as soon as the final cast ends, you are dodging the void zone perfectly. At some point, there is going to be a need to interrupt a cast to move. On some inter-mechanic gaps, you might end up with an extra cast over someone who has the higher stat. On many, you will probably only do the same number, only that yours would be a bit weaker. Overall, you could seek out every situation in the game and there may be one in a particular fight where you can reliably say that the movement speed reliable pays off with an extra cast, however the real world difference is totally negligible.

Of course, he would have been right, if only you could cast the same spells in the same order  to heal unlimited damage and move the same distance at the same interval, so long as that interval matched the total cast time. Boss fights aren’t like that though.


Extreme Cases vs Reasoned Adjustments

I’ve been looking a lot at Haste vs Mastery stat priorities lately, really trying to make sure I have the best understanding possible.

Take Mastery as an extreme case. People (including me) always theorycraft Mastery based on 100% Harmony uptime. Your Harmony up-time might not be that high, and that drastically changes the value of the stat for you in that particular situation.

Let’s compare this example with the effects of Haste on Rejuvenation. Is it fair to apply the same reasoning – that we must look at the extreme case, that Haste increases the full duration of the HoT and grants you an extra tick? Not as I see it. The reason being, Rejuvenation is a 15 second HoT. While I appreciate the intricate skill that comprises predictive healing, you can’t predict 15 seconds in to the future. Rejuvenation will, typically, be subject to more over-healing than any other spell when one is being discerning with their healing choices. Even when you have great chemistry within your healing team (there’s another old post of mine on the subject), your co-healers will generally react to a health deficit by healing, and more often than not, you’ll probably be prioritizing the same targets in a raid healing situation. There’s also smart heals. Even if you pick your Rejuvenations perfectly so that they won’t overheal, and your raid group has perfect chemistry such that the other healers don’t case when Rejuv is on a target, smart heals will do their own thing.

In the extreme case, Rejuvenation may benefit from Haste by an extreme amount. Making a reasoned adjustment though, you might realise that you’re rarely likely to get the full benefit of that increase, and as a result you don’t consider Haste significantly better than Mastery.


Thoughts & Discussion

Where I think we get in to the realms of philosophy is determining where one draws that line in the sand. Why is OK to regard some things in the extreme cases, where perfect utilization is required, and others are not OK? In the case of Mastery vs Haste, I believe that the answer lies in terms of control. Mastery up-time is 100% the responsibility of the individual playing. If you aren’t maintaining full uptime, that’s because you didn’t re-activate it with a direct heal before it expired. It is within your power and your power alone to change that. Rejuvenation, on the other hand, is open to influence from external variables, including how the other healers regard your HoTs on their target of choice, and how many smart heals are thrown out.

Don't you dare forget to refresh Harmony!

Don’t you dare forget to refresh Harmony!

Another way to look at it is how much effort is required vs optional. If you’ve raided, you’ll probably be familiar with the idea that you need to do “everything you can” to prepare your character for a raid. Sure, you flask, you eat food, you have pots, and you learn the fine details of how to play. But with some exceptions, you don’t delve down in to your character and gear setup for every individual fight looking for some small edge. You probably don’t rebind hotkeys between bosses, even if a boss has a mechanic that might benefit from your hand being slightly better positioned. You probably don’t investigate the fight looking for some reason that your typical 4th priority stat is in this situation better than your 3rd, and swap a bunch of gear out accordingly. It’s not necessary to play this way – the game is not tuned to this degree. As players, we try to make sure we do it right the first time, and get the best gear for the majority of situations, and usually reserve changes for when we actually get an upgrade.

Sometimes, when we theorycraft, we can go to the degree of certainty – that X is better than Y by Z amount. It’s actually a good thing that in situations like haste, someone goes ahead and does exactly that, and maths it out so that we understand every boundary precisely. However, it’s important to be able to evaluate those extremes in the context of the real world (…of Warcraft).

Remember, people (especially me!) make mistakes all the time. I’m constantly revising things that I say because I find out it’s not quite right. But to my credit, I’m always checking, appreciating how easy it is to make even a simple error.

If you’re wondering which is the better choice right now, I give a slight edge to Haste. The difference is marginal and it varies by situation and by play style. I wouldn’t say you’re wrong to prioritize either over the other, and whichever one loses out is still your next best stat (by a reasonable margin). They are close enough so that a wide range of variables – what are the mechanics of a given fight, what are your healing assignments, what is your raid makeup, etc – all have a much greater impact on one’s personal healing than the difference between the two – when you’ve got 100% Harmony up-time, that is.

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Nov 16

Patch 6.2.3 – The Return of Valor

WoW Patch 6.2.3 releases this Tuesday, 17th November and it’s bringing some exciting for me (at least for a minor patch). My resto druid main will likely only crash through the minimum runs to max out upgrades across her gear before being benched, but I’m looking forward to increasing my group gameplay experience with a couple of select alts. While it’s cool Valor at least adds some kind of progression path (even if I’m not a big fan of the Valor upgrade system), most especially I’m looking forward to jumping in to dungeon content with some kind of purpose. I’ve barely touched dungeons this expansion (after the first few weeks), so I’m keen to have a reason to do some mythic dungeons beyond the cache that comes around every other month. They’re a better social experience than LFR and a better way to learn alt specs. It’s not the perfect “new” content, but I’ll take it for now.

For the remaining months of Warlords of Draenor, I’m really looking ahead to Legion and expect to have a huge posting focus on resto in Legion over the coming months. Any WoD posts will be led by discussion to be had or a good post to be written, I’ll definitely try to make it! In that regard, I’m going to be led by feedback, so feel free to comment, tweet or send me an email!

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Nov 12

Resto Druid: Legion Class Preview

Druid class crest

At last, today the Druid class preview for Legion was released. I didn’t exactly feel hard done by being left until near-last, since Druids were one of the few classes to get a lot of love during the streamed panels. Still, it made for an anxious wait, and I’m glad it’s over. And hey, at least we avoided the Enhancement Shaman treatment!

All spec changes can be found here, and I felt the boomkin changes were particularly interesting also. I’ll definitely delve in to those in a future post, and possibly the others also. I’m not going to repeat everything here, just the interesting ones as well as my thoughts.

Blizzard have been big on talking about the “fantasy” of each class and spec, and how the changes seek to bolster that. So how did they do?

Troll Druid; Picture courtesy Blizzard

Like nature, the restoration druid perseveres through patience and persistence, the foundation upon which all life is built and sustained.


Spell Cost Changes

One change to take note of before anything is that spells are regarded as having a cost of %[mana], rather than %[base mana] as it is today in WoD. This is cool because it is easier to calculate – with a static mana pool there’s no real reason for it to be any other way. In general, most mana costs seem to be being adjusted. Lifebloom has nearly doubled in cost. Rejuvenation & regrowth are essentially exactly the same cost as before (in WoD). So it seems like everything’s been re-tuned around Rejuv. Check out the table below for the comparison.


Spell Cost as % of Mana Pool

Warlords of Draenor


Healing Touch


Healing Touch














Wild Mushroom








Wild Growth


Wild Growth



Ability Changes

Mastery: Harmony

Your healing is increased by 12% (with Mastery from typical gear) for each of your Restoration heal over time effects on the target.

This is the biggest change. This takes the raw baseline mechanic away of maintaining Harmony uptime for something a bit more dynamic and skill-based. I was a fan of the old Mastery, but this has a lot of potential and I expect this to be better. I can’t wait to playtest it. Basically, with Lifebloom and Rejuv on a target, you’ll get 24+[Mastery Bonus]% to your healing.

The old mastery meant that you could only improve until you were consistently hitting 100% Harmony uptime, and then you basically couldn’t ever get better at it (one could drill down to being maximum-efficient at refreshing it, but without mana issues there’s no benefit). It was a great goal to aim for and I think it’s been good for the game over, say, no mastery at all. The new mastery, however, means that choices will be more situational, and (accurate) predictive play will be rewarded.

The other cool part about this is that mastery no longer gives a linear boost – it’s not going to boost all of your heals by the mastery amount (so that 1% mastery = 1% additional healing done). It’s going to be situational.


Healing Touch

2% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast

So Healing Touch is no longer the “big heal” – its cost for perspective is the same as Lifebloom (Rejuv 1.9%). For perspective, it’s currently about 2-2.5 times the cost of Lifebloom. It looks like Healing Touch is going to be brought back in to the Druid arsenal in a big way, basically providing a direct slow-cast heal – more along the lines of what Nourish (RIP, never forget) once was, only without the non-stop spam that we had in Catacylsm (hopefully). This is good because it separates Healing Touch from Regrowth even further. I expect this to be a moderate heal which becomes a really efficient big heal with good Mastery management, rewarded good play. At a glance and a guess, my prediction is that this will be the “core” play style.



Grow a healing blossom at the target location, restoring a moderate amount of health to three injured allies within 10 yards every 2 sec for 30 sec.

We’re back to just plain old Efflorescence cast. This is essentially what it’s been since it was tied to the mushroom, we just lose the mushroom animation. It looks like it loses the 5HP mushroom (which I guess increases PvP viability?).


Possible new talent


Instant, 1 min cooldown

Extend the duration of all of your heal over time effects on friendly targets within 60 yards by 10 sec.

This is really cool, and really adds to the mastery-focused play style, and leaves little to the imagination so I won’t go on about it. However, I’ll say that talents usually undergo the biggest overhauls from announcement to live. Might not necessarily be the case here, but I’d take this as a way to inform you as to desired direction, rather than planning for this talent in its current iteration.


Design Philosophy

Lastly, a shout out to Lisanna of Restokin, who was actually at Blizzcon and got some extra info out of the Class Q&A panel. I won’t repost here, but you should definitely check out her summary for Restoration for some more information on the direction Blizzard are aiming. Side note, I really hope the Class Q&A panel makes a return (even if only as a VOD), as it’s honestly my favourite panel.


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Nov 11



It’s been a long time since my last post, and there are a multitude of reasons why. If you’re a previous reader returning, welcome back! If you’re new to the site, welcome, and I hope you find reason to return.

I have been playing to some degree for essentially the entirety of Warlords of Draenor, but with varying degrees of actual activity. I’ve had plenty of stretches where I’ve only logged on for AH flipping, garrison dailies, profession CDs, etc. I’ve done next to no raiding (fortunately my guild are cool enough to bring me along when I can make it, despite my severe lack of dedication and gear!). I struggle finding time that I can really commit to a raid team. Of course, there are lots of pugging options – I should actually do this. Overall, my WoD experience hasn’t been what I would consider positive. But, I’m excited that Legion looks to be addressing lots of those issues.

What’s been keeping me occupied? My work has kept me consistently busy, and I had my second daughter in April. These are the main factors, but I’m still working to finish my degree, and I’m broadening my horizons with a few hobbies.

One thing I need to pull the trigger on is a realm transfer – as an Australian, my US-based server isn’t cutting it anymore. Sadly, I didn’t take advantage of the free realm transfer offered when Oceanic realms came online, and I’m still finding it very difficult to cut some of my deepest ties to the current realm (which has been my home since The Burning Crusade).

I’m still very passionate about the game. I still expect to marathon level to 110 (and 120, and beyond). I’m still excited by where we’re going. The features of Legion I was initially dubious about are growing on me, and I’m starting to come to terms with how cool this can be.

I have really struggled to find motivation to write about healing in WoD. It truly doesn’t seem that exciting. Your experience may vary, and I’m sure that there are situational factors in my situation that actually affect the ways I’m able to enjoy the game. But, as far as resto druid gameplay goes, I feel like I basically need to take articles I’ve previously written and remove chunks of it to make it accurate. Maybe you disagree, and there’s a deep, rich level of rewarding gameplay that is unique to WoD that I’m missing. What I will be looking to do is focus my attention on Legion, which looks like it will be a fresh experience. I say this in spite of the minimal changes to resto druids. More on that in a future post, which I’m really looking forward to writing down.

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Nov 13

A Farewell to Pandaria

Lately, I haven’t been posting a whole bunch. Blizzard’s approach to the beta was different this time around – they made huge scale changes regularly, and often reverted changes soon after. It started to get pretty clear that trying to keep up with it all wasn’t worth it. At the end of the day, the only experience that matters is the level 100 experience on the live servers – so that’s what I’ve been waiting for.

I do want to take this opportunity between expansions to talk about some of the good and the bad of the expansion just gone. MoP kept me engaged throughout its lifespan, but distantly. I didn’t do any serious raiding, and the groups I did raid with were usually shortlived. I felt like this expansion, I always had something to work on – some sort of goal for my character. Honestly, though, WoW is better with friends, and MoP made it a little too easy to play the single-player version. I hope this changes.

With respect to healing, MoP had its good and bad. For Resto Druids, they fixed the problem that Nourish fill provided, and turned the play style into a multi-tasking-heavy, time-management-demanding experience. In this way, it was the best expansion (IMO) for healing. The posts I wrote about mechanics, and mana/time as resources were my favourite I’ve ever written. When the game operates this way, I want to play it.

MoP’s greatest downfall is something Blizzard have stated often recently – that damage was too spiky and that there was no room for interesting decisions. They are absolutely right, at least that damage was too spiky. There’s always going to be room for interesting decisions. Really, the question is whether or not the new style will fix that or not. In my experience so far, it just tends to mean I spend less time healing and more time doing bad DPS. My other big concern is that this is how it will be at all levels below Mythic. I’m hoping this isn’t the case at 100.

Before we go through the Dark Portal again, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who reads this, and in particular those who have contacted me before and will in the future. Throughout the life of SometimesATree, I’ve gained what I consider to be a reasonable readership (based on traffic stats), but I’ve never really had a whole lot of contact from readers. Recently, I’ve had some wonderful words of support and encouragement from people contacting me, telling me they enjoy what’s here. This really does mean a lot to me and you have my sincerest, heartfelt thanks. Content will begin rolling out more frequently during WoD, and I do plan to make good on my intention to create more YouTube videos.

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Sep 29

WoD Professions Overview

As someone with multiple alts and a pretty solid profession coverage, I started looking into WoD professions this week – mainly to see which professions were worth doubling up on. I had to basically research one profession at a time and make comparisons, so I decided I’d write a bit of a summary to (hopefully) save you some time. There’s a lot more to professions in WoD than what’s in this post so you should still do some more research, this is just glossing over all but the important bits. This is also based on beta information so it might change!

One important thing to remember: There are no more profession bonuses in WoD. Professions are now about gear only, there isn’t one profession that translates to more healing.

All crafting professions will work largely based off one special mat, which is obtainable both by a daily CD and from garrison work orders. They are all BoP so you can’t dedicate alts’ garrisons to farming for one toon. On the plus side, almost everything created with them is BoE. You can create more work orders as your garrison levels, so the amount you’ll get each day will increase.

*Note that Blizzard are experimenting with a change to the daily CD – you’ll get 3 charges maximum that you can spend, and you generate one charge every 24 hours. You can do your CDs every day or 3 times every 3rd day, etc and it won’t matter.

  • Alchemy – Alchemical Catalyst
  • Blacksmithing – Truesteel Ingot
  • Enchanting – Rune Shard
  • Engineering – Gearspring Parts
  • Inscription – War Paints
  • Jewelcrafting – Taladite Crystal
  • Leatherworking – Burnished Leather
  • Tailoring – Hexweave Cloth

Crafting Professions – Wearable Gear

Tailoring, Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, Jewelcrafting, Engineering (Armour)

Inscription, Blacksmithing (Weapons)

  • All armour is epic iLvl 640 gear that has two stages of upgrades (you also create the item that does the upgrade); iLvl 655 & 665 respectively
  • All weapons are rare iLvl 630 gear that have two stages of upgrades (you also create the item that does the upgrade); iLvl 640 & 655 respectively (both epic)
  • You can wear a maximum of 3 crafted pieces at any one time, and it seems as though there’s an option for each slot.
  • Stats are randomised, and you can make an item that will re-roll the stats for a crafted item (so you get back a little control over your stats and the ability to make some adjustments in those horrible “should be an upgrade but isn’t because of loss of other stat” situations)
  • All crafted gear requires the special CD mats, listed above
  • The gear is going to be pretty good early on at level 100, but is typically “pre-raid”
  • Engineering goggles are BOE and they do count as one of the 3 pieces of Warlords crafted gear you can equip at any one time. It seems like they take a longer time to make than other pieces
  • Leatherworking makes a mount (had to throw this one in there)


  • The above mechanics for crafting items out of rarer mats basically apply to flasks, so it’s more like a cap on the number of flasks you can make per day.
  • You can transmute catalysts with 6 different cooldowns in a style very similar to the weekly cloth cooldown that existed in Cataclysm (using a different WoD herb as a mat for each).
  • Greater flasks (+250 stat) are effectively double the mats of the regular ones (+200 stat), so you can make half as many per day
  • No huge benefit to being a transmute master vs elixir master – you’ll proc extra flasks with elixir, or you’ll proc extra mats with transmute (there may be one that has a slight edge due to proc chance). Elixir will be cheaper though, since it’s only one of the mats that you proc with Transmute – you’d still need the rest of the herbs for each flask.


  • Makes Darkmoon cards which are really good
  • Darkmoon cards can be upgraded in the same style as all of the above
  • There are 3 Darkmoon Tarot decks which are low level trinkets (require level 91, 95 & 98 respectively) which will be great for alts

Worth Doubling Up On:

  • Alchemy (Elixir master)
  • Inscription
  • Any of Crafting Professions – Wearable Gear

I don’t see there being any real reason to double up on Transmute mastery as in any expansion up to now, at least for now. Since it’s a specialisation that can be changed fairly easily, it’s not that big a deal. I’ll probably have 3 alchemists, 4 scribes and 2 leatherworkers.

Leatherworking is a good choice for druids, since we can make so much of our own gear. I think Jewelcrafting may be just as good or better, since things like necks, rings etc are going to be a bit more vital to our spec (these are the pieces you’re going to be after spirit on)

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Aug 13

Germination in Warlords of Draenor

I’m a really big fan of Germination, one of the new level 100 talents in Warlords of Draenor. It’s got some cool synergy with a change to Rejuvenation. I had a question via Twitter about it and decided I’d just demonstrate how it works in a video.


Some notes on that synergy I gloss over in the video:

  • Base Rejuv duration up to 15 from 12 in Mists of Pandaria
  • Duration won’t be shortened in Warlords of Draenor via haste as it is in Mists of Pandaria
  • There is no penalty for refreshing the duration of Rejuv any time in its last 5 seconds (remaining duration added on to next cast)
  • Easier to multitask – as long as you’re aware when you’re within 5 sec of Rejuv falling off you can make informed decisions. e.g. You might refresh a Rejuv that would expire soon, and then Tranq, rather than have it fall off during the channel


I enjoy making vids and think it’s a great format for little things like this. If you’d like to see more personally, you can tell me (email or Twitter!) or like the video.

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