Gemming Your Resto/Feral Druid, PSA

When you decide to play a Resto Druid and offspec into Feral (instead of Balance like a normal Resto Druid does), make certain you keep an eye on your gems.  And in case there was any confusion on the issue…

Gemming your amazing new gloves with Delicate Inferno Rubies will not, in fact, help you heal better.  Not that I have -any- personal experience with this matter whatsoever.  *wanders off mumbling about speed gemming during raid breaks*

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[4.3] Transmogrification! Tsuki ni Kawatte Oshioki yo!

The only thing I could think about on Tuesday, Patch 4.3 Day, was TRANSMOGRIFICATION.  I know the blogosphere has lit up all over this topic, but I just can’t help adding my own two cents.

Being sentimental by nature I was well positioned for the initial announcement of Transmogrification, and had near complete sets of all tier gear from t4 to t12.  Despite that I spent a lot of time wavering between my favorite tier sets and coming up with an original look.  However no matter what I ended up with, one thing was always certain: the T8 Conqueror’s Nightsong Sailormoon Headpiece will pretty much be a permanent fixture on Leiyan’s head (as featured in my blog banner!).

Sailormoon hat image borrowed from Wowhead!

Sailormoon hat image borrowed from Wowhead!

This hat is the single most amazing piece of gear ever created by Blizzard… and now I will get to wear it forever.  To make my life even more amazing, Blizzard introduced new hairstyles for Night Elves back in patch 4.2 including “Sassy Buns” which looks pretty much exactly like Sailormoon’s hair does, except much much shorter. Still, the odango atama are intact and wearing it in white with the T8 hat is nearly the perfect combination.

Honestly, you have no idea how happy this makes me.

In addition to the Hat of Amazing Awesomness, I’ve decided on a custom look pulled from green quality gear for my debut transmogrification set.  The foundation of this set comes from the Archer’s set of gear.  However, I changed out the shoulders and boots for the Umbrafen set, the cloak (hidden in this image) from the Tracker set, and the belt from the Ranger set.  I completed the outfit with the Cenarion Expedition Tabard and Staff of the Verdent Circle, which set the entire look off nicely.  The Staff of the Verdent Circle is actually a really unique and interesting item, since it has animation effects that grow flowers and mushrooms along it’s length.

Overall, my goal for this look was of a Druid, blessed of Elune, in practical clothing, actively involved in the daily business of saving Azeroth.  She is out in the field, doing meaningful work, and has a no-nonsense attitude about her outfit.  I think I achieved that look quite nicely, and I am very pleased with the outcome.

[4.2] Initial Thoughts on Tier 12 Druid Set Bonuses

Restoration

  • Restoration 2 Pieces – Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.
  • Restoration 4 Pieces – When your Lifebloom blooms, it instantly heals up to 2 nearby injured targets for the same amount.

MMO-Champion (data-mined)

So, firstly, to repeat, this is data-mined information.  It may not be correct, and it may not go live.

At this point, I seriously hope that the 4 piece bonus is either not correct or doesn’t go live.

The 2 piece bonus isn’t very interesting, just a straight mana regen boost.  It is sort of nice that they are giving that to us (and all the other healers) as our two piece bonus this time around, rather than the 4 piece mana regen bonus that we have in our tier 11 gear.  It always seemed sort of backward that the mana regen bonus, something lesser geared healers desperately need, doesn’t become available until the healer is geared enough to kill at least one final raid boss.  Moving the mana regen down to the 2 piece set bonus will make it much more accessible and give healers a bit more breathing room as they get into the harder Firelands content.
(Edit: I forgot to mention, but the 2 piece bonus becomes more interesting when I take Tree of Life into account.  ToL already acts well as a mana conservation cooldown; adding the t12 2 piece set bonus gives Tree of Life substantially more oomph as a mana regeneration cooldown.)

The 4 piece bonus… is…yea… I don’t know.  It looks absolutely terrible to me.  I try my absolute darnedest to never let Lifebloom bloom on the tank.  I mean, sure, it happens…occasionally…when I can’t do much about it, but it’s certainly never a goal to let it fall off the tank.

During Tree of Life the bonus could be much more fun, potentially doing a whole lot of healing… Still, even then, I can see much of these extra blooms lost to overheal.  That’s sort of always been the problem with Lifebloom…you can’t control the bloom, you either have to hope the target takes damage (but not too much damage!) before it blooms or consider that portion of the spell basically wasted.  Luckily the cost of Lifebloom and the HoT healing portion have always made it economical to normally forget about the bloom effect.  And, that’s not to say the bloom hasn’t saved my butt in a tight healing situation… but I am never able to rely on it.

I suppose the 4 piece bonus can be looked at as exactly that; a bonus.  Not required, not replied upon, just a boost that we might occasionally benefit from.  If we are lucky.

Really though, if these bonuses go live, I can see myself forgoing the t12 4 piece bonus in favor of off-tier gear with better itemization.  I’ll have to wait and see if such gear exists, of course.

Feral

  • Feral 2 Pieces – Your attacks with Mangle, Maul, and Shred deal 10% additional damage as Fire damage over 4 sec.
  • Feral 4 Pieces – Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to extend the duration of Berserk by 2 sec and your Barkskin ability grants an additional 10% chance to dodge for 12 sec.

MMO-Champion (data-mined)

I moonlight as Feral, but I admit I don’t have quite as much of an understanding of the spec as I do with Restoration.  The 2 piece bonus looks like a straight DPS boost, applying a fast DoT to the target.  This seems to be a bit more desirable for a Cat than a Bear, but an increase in damage is always welcomed.

The 4 piece bonus seems pretty good for Cats, since if you use all five combo points on a finishing move you have 100% to proc the extra 2 seconds.  Bears get an improved tanking cooldown in Barkskin from their part of the 4 piece bonus.  It looks like Cat’s can get the additional dodge too, even if it really isn’t as useful for them… Although, it could be a mini-evasion for that last 2%?

Balance

  • Balance 2 Pieces – You have a chance to summon a Burning Treant to assist you in battle for 15 sec when you cast Wrath or Starfire.
  • Balance 4 Pieces – While not in an Eclipse state, your Wrath generates 3 additional Lunar Energy and your Starfire generates 5 additional Solar Energy.

MMO-Champion (data-mined)

Ok, I can’t even attempt to really analyze the Balance set bonuses, but seriously, Burning Treant pets?!?!  How totally awesome is that!!!!  And the 4 piece bonus?  Looks like a straight DPS boost in that you’ll be able to move faster INTO an Eclipse state whenever you find yourself outside of one.  I suppose it slightly counteracts the upcoming changes to Moonfire, Sunfire, and Insect Swarm (the general wisdom is that they will move you OUT of an Eclipse but not back in)?