I was resisting looking at cataclysm changes for a while but when the druid talent preview came out I couldn’t resist and have been playing around with the new tree of trees.
If your resistance is stronger than mine don’t read the rest of this.
First things first, here’s the talent preview, though some talents are wrong if you fill them in:
If you want to read about the Feral tree, check out a recent BBB post.
My overall impression is fairly positive. Any changes to size of heals, effect of haste, etc. is even more premature so just going to look at changes to the nature of the spells.
Looks like Gift of the Earthmother gives this an up front heal, kind of like the four-piece T8 bonus. This buffs it as a raid heal and is probably inconsequential for tank healing.
Crits will now return mana and create an area-based HoT around the target in addition to planting a Living Seed. Good for giving melee some love when you are tank healing. You’d probably need a high crit rate for it to be reliable enough to depend on it for any raid healing, though.
No functional change, though they are playing around with the numbers. Also, no longer triggers Revitalize, but this now only gives the caster mana anyways.
No longer based on the size of the HoT it consumes but has a flat base amount and is buffed by most talents that buff Rejuvenation.
Talents may undo some of the nerfs to the bloom, though that’s hard to pin down. The major change seems to be that Lifebloom is refreshed by Nourish and when it crits it returns mana. Definitely a buff to tank healing but may have raid applicability as well. I sometimes use Lifebloom on a non-tank if I have Clearcasting. I’d have to play around with some numbers to see how this interacts with Lifebloom’s mana cost / refund.
Now refreshes Lifebloom, which is nice. The other big change is that the Naturalist talent now affects both Nourish and Healing Touch and is needed in order to get Nature’s Swiftness. Currently my Nourish cast time is under 1 second in a raid so this could become crazy fast depending on what else they do with haste.
Because of the change to Naturalist / Nature’s Swiftness, most resto druids will actually take this now, which might bring it into wider use. Additionally, it’s getting a 10% buff when used on targets below 25% so the emergency heal macro is now even better.
Improved Tranquility now reduces damage while casting it rather than reducing cooldown, so I’m not thinking this is going to be any more useful, except maybe in PvP. We’ll see if they make changes to the spell’s targets.
Tree of Life
With talents this will be usable for 45 seconds out of every 3.5 minutes. It will buff healing (and damage!) by 15% and bring back the reduced movement speed of old. Plus it will have not-yet-specified effects on other spells.
I’m still really on the fence about this one, so waiting to see what the other effects are. I wouldn’t mind druids getting a cooldown for use on tanks for fights when they are needed. My normal healing partner is a Shaman so we currently just have to try to heal harder in those situations.
Interestingly enough you can go pretty far into Balance and still get Tree of Life so I suspect some Balance / Resto hybrid PvP specs will appear that can actually heal and do damage reasonably.
Here is my tentative spec:
Only one point in Balance that seems like a waste. No points in Resto that are pure filler and no talents I wanted that I couldn’t max out.
All in all, I like what I’m seeing.