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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

Legion

Healing Touch

2.07%

Healing Touch

2%

Regrowth

3.73%

Regrowth

3.7%

Rejuvenation

1.89%

Rejuvenation

1.9%

Lifebloom

0.9%

Lifebloom

2%

Wild Mushroom

4.3%

Efflorescence

4.3%

Swiftmend

2.6%

Swiftmend

1.6%

Wild Growth

7.5%

Wild Growth

7.5%

 

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.

 

Efflorescence

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

Flourish

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.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://sometimesatree.com/resto-druid-legion-class-preview/

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