[WoD] Dream of Cenarius, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Wrath Spam

Since I started raiding in Warlords of Draenor, mana management has been a huge struggle for me.  I seemed to eat through my mana so fast, getting down to 10-20% mana while the other healers on my team were sitting at 60% mana or even more!  Worse, I was at the bottom of the healing meters, almost constantly.

I tried to throttle back my healing, to hold back on casting Regrowths, Rejuvenations, and Wild Growths.  But it was painful, and just made my overall healing even worse than before, even if I had mana available when it was truly needed.

Once we started working on Mythic Black Rock Foundry, I knew something had to change.  I ended up raiding in a Heroic pug one night with another Resto Druid who was doing an insane amount of healing.  Afterwards, I checked his spec and the logs.  Dream of Cenarius accounted for about 8% of his total healing per encounter on average.

Dream of Cenarius causes every Wrath cast, at any time during the encounter, to also send a heal to someone in need.  Heals that are completely mana free since Wrath has no cost.  Of course, these heals are (not-so-)”smart” heals, targeting an injured party member, but perhaps not the player most in need.

Nature’s Vigil, by comparison, only accounted for about 5% of my total healing, and required that I be casting mana-intense spells throughout its duration to receive any benefit.  I know I could be spamming Wrath during Nature’s Vigil, but timing a 30-second Wrath spam session every 1.5 minutes is not an easy task.  In most cases, I was simply using NV on cooldown and casting whatever I normally would (usually expensive heals).

When I had previously experimented with DoC I struggled with needing to change targets constantly.  I do much better in WoW when my targets are located in neat rows and columns, whose locations are fixed and known.  Trying to click on targets moving around me on the screen has never been my forte.  And it was even more challenging because I always had to keep an eye on my raid frame in case someone needed a real heal.  I have accidentally let dps and tanks die because I was too focused on spamming Wrath at a particular target when I should have been watching raid frames.  To put it short, using DoC felt incredibly stressful.

Recently, however, I realized that the damage caused by Wrath was miniscule, practically non-existent, when compared to the damage put out by actual raid DPS.  It didn’t matter which target I was attacking…. the damage I did was pretty much nothing.  While this might disappointing other players, it was a very freeing revelation for me.  I no longer felt as though I needed to burn down the add with the rest of the dps.  I could just stay on the boss, focus on healing and Wrath spam, and my damage wouldn’t really affect the course of the encounter.  Even better, since it didn’t matter who I was hitting, I could use a macro to DPS my target’s current target.  This made spamming Wrath during downtimes easier than ever, while still allowing me to focus on health bars and be ready for incoming damage.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=targettarget,mod:alt][mod:alt]Wrath; [target=mouseover, help][help][target=targettarget, help][target=player] Regrowth

Suddenly, instead of spamming Rejuvenations on the off chance that they might get a tick or two of healing through, I was spamming Wrath and sending free 20k+ direct heals to injured targets!  Since switching to DoC I usually spend the first half or so of an encounter around 80-90% mana, and use Wrath spam during down times later on in an encounter in order to regenerate mana while still maintaining a healing presence.

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My healing breakdown from Union’s first Mythic Beastlord Darmac kill.

Dream of Cenarius usually makes up about 7-9% of my total healing done which is a huge chunk of healing completely free of mana costs.  This made such a huge impact on my mana usage that I even swapped out my weapon enchant from Mark of Shadowmoon (spirit) to Mark of Warsong (haste).

It’s still a challenge, sometimes, to spam Wrath when my fingers itch for more targeted healing, but I’m a convert.  I’m not sure how I ever healed without Dream of Cenarius, and I can’t imagine going back to Nature’s Vigil any time soon.

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[WoD] Restoration Druid Updates in 6.1

Patch 6.1 goes live on Tuesday!

Here’s my comparison of the 6.1 updates between live and the PTR.  To get the best comparisons, I made sure both my live and PTR toons were wearing the same gear.  However, since I’ve upgraded several pieces on live since copying my toon over, I had to remove a lot of mismatched pieces.  As a result, their matching gear maxed out at ilvl 589, with no weapons or offhand items, and no buffs.  So if the numbers seem low in general, keep in mind they have a low item level for this testing. The difference between the numbers on live and PTR is more important than the amount.

Fix for Wild Mushroom

@WarcraftDevs is tooltip for Glyph’d Wild Mushroom fixed in 6.1? More importantly, is the mana cost for Glyph’d Wild Mushroom fixed?

It is working properly in 6.1, and we’ll investigate the tooltip. Thank you for the heads-up!

This is a pretty big fix!!  Currently, if you use Glyph of Wild Mushroom (which lets you place the Mushroom on a location instead of centered on a player) the cost of Wild Mushroom is also increased by about 2,000 mana.  During a 10 minute encounter, if you cast your Mushroom on cooldown and use the glyph, you will have spent about about 40,000 more mana on Wild Mushroom than if you hadn’t been using the glyph.

The tooltip has already been fixed on the live servers, but the cost is still about 2k more than it should be.  This bug has been stealth fixed in 6.1 (it’s not included in any patch notes!), but after Tuesday we will no longer be unintentionally penalized for using the glyph and we’ll have a pretty significant amount of extra mana throughout a boss fight.

Buff to Force of Nature

Force of Nature’s Treants has been buffed with a 35% increase to their health and spellpower, and an 80% increase to their armor and attack power.

Here are the amounts healed by a single Treant’s Swiftmend and Healing Touch:

LIVE PTR
Swiftmend: 2376 Swiftmend: 3209
Healing Touch: 2377 Healing Touch: 3210

As you can see, this is a a decent buff to our healing Treants, but still probably not enough to get me to use the talent regularly.

Buff to Dream of Cenarius (via Naturalist Buff)

Naturalist (Restoration) now also increases the damage of Druid spells and abilities by 15%.

I am a recent convert to Dream of Cenarius, so when I saw the buff to Naturalist I got pretty excited.  Sure enough, the Naturalist buff also makes healing via DoC stronger, making this talent even more attractive.

LIVE (avg over 6 non-crit hits)
PTR (avg over 6 non-crit hits)
Wrath: 8291
Wrath: 9196
DoC Heal: 12437
DoC Heal: 13793

Other Changes

Talent Changes:

  • Moment of Clarity (Restoration) now lasts 7 seconds (up from 5 seconds).
  • Rampant Growth (Restoration) now also increases the healing of Swiftmend by 20%.
  • Renewal now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%).
  • Heart of the Wild (Restoration) now increases spell damage by 150% (down from 200%), and Agility in Cat Form by 75% (down from 110%).
  • Displacer Beast is now classified as an Arcane School ability and can no longer be used while silenced.

Spell Changes:

  • Moonfire’s mana cost has been reduced by 55%. (1056 mana to 480 mana)
  • Genesis no longer requires a target.
  • Ironbark is no longer usable while silenced.
  • Nature’s Cure can no longer be cast while in a shapeshift form and is now classified as a Nature School ability.

I don’t have too many thoughts on these changes…  Mostly they just seem like minor balance fixes.  The decreased mana cost of Moonfire is nice, but since it doesn’t contribute to DoC, I rarely cast it.  Slight buffs to Moment of Clarity, Rampant Growth, and Renewal make them more attractive, but I don’t really see myself switching to those talents in most cases.

The fact that Displacer Beast and Nature’s Cure have been added to spell schools means that it is now possible to be locked out of them, if interrupted while casting.  But it is basically just another reason to avoid getting locked out of abilities.

Fun Changes!

Cosmetic transformations that alter the character’s appearance now have a higher priority than Druid combat forms. This means Druids can keep a transformation while shapeshifted.

Many Druid shapeshift forms now have attachment points on the head and back for cosmetic toy effects such as Blazing Wings or Pepe. Additional shapeshift forms may receive attachment points in the future.

I wanted to include a screenshot here of my Druid in cat form using Blazing Wings, but for some reason that toy did not survive the copy to the PTR!  However, I was able to transform into a Druid of the Flame using Leyara’s Locket while shifting into cat form.  These cosmetic changes will be a very nice and fun little quality of life improvement for all Druids.

Overall, 6.1 looks pretty good for Resto Druids.  Buffs to a few spells, fixes for Wild Mushroom, minor balance changes to others, and not really any nerfs.  I can’t wait till Tuesday! =D