First Look at Dragon Soul: A Resto Druid Perspective


My guild dived into the Dragon Soul on the PTR this week to check out the new bosses. We managed to scrape together 20 people and we pugged 5 more and spent about an hour and a half looking at 2 bosses on 25-man Normal mode.

Upon entering the Dragon Soul the first thing you will notice is that you are in Dragonblight again, only this time Wyrmrest Temple is under siege by Cultists and Elementals. An extremely large Elemental by the name of Morchok is in the front line hurling boulders at the temple. He is the first boss of this instance and to reach him requires plowing through a couple of packs of adds. The adds on LFR difficulty are a bit of a pushover, but the Normal-mode versions can easily wipe your melee DPS with an AoE attack if you’re not careful.

Morchok

When you first see Morchok, you’ll notice that he looks very similar to Ozruk found in Stonecore. In fact, his abilities are fairly similar to a couple of bosses found in Stonecore.

Stomp- Splits 2300000 to 2700000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. The two targets closest to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.

You always want your DPS to be somewhat stacked up within 25 yards of the boss so they can “share the love” with the tanks. The tanks should always be closest to the boss so they take can take the “double damage” portion of the attack.

Crush Armor- Reduces an enemy’s armor by 10% for 20 sec. Effect stacks up to 10 times.

This is your standard tank swap boss mechanic. How many stacks you take depends on gear and possibly RNG. Lifebloom swapping is still a pain in here, so be expected to swap targets often.

Resonating Crystal- Launches a Resonating Crystal at the ground near an enemy player.

Morchok will launch a Resonating Crystal at a random player. The crystal will then target X number of players with a beam. Players that have the beam will need to stack up on the Resonating Crystal and wait for it to “detonate” and “share the damage.” Failure to do this can result in player deaths.

Black Blood of Earth- Morchok channels an intense spell, drawing the blood of the Earth to the surface.

Occasionally, Morchok will pull all players to him and summon spikes around him. Your goal is to get behind the spikes and LoS the Black Blood of Earth before it can kill you. Abilities like Dash and Stampeding Roar are excellent for helping you and your raid get behind the pillars quicker.

Furious- Attack speed increased by 30%. Damage increased by 20%.

At 20% Morchok will become Furious and will increase in Attack Speed and Damage. This is your burn phase.

Overall, Morchok is a fairly easy encounter, but he can easily wipe your raid if you don’t pay attention to the crystals or LoS properly.

First Look at World of Logs in Dragon Soul

So last night was the first night I could really take a look at the difference at my output between our 10 and 25 attempts at Yor’sahj and Morchok. My 25-man output tends to be higher due to their being more damage versus 10-man encounters and this still holds true for Dragon Soul.

I admit I was certainly expecting a nerf to my output with the change to Wild Growth and Glyph of Wild Growth, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it felt while we raided yesterday.

Wild Growth feels extremely weak now. It just doesn’t move health bars like it use to. And with the longer cooldown, I’m finding myself blanketing the raid with Rejuvenation because there isn’t anything else to press. I realized that the nerf to Wild Growth wasn’t just a nerf to our output, but a major nerf to our burst healing.

Here’s a recent WoL parse for Yor’sahj.

As you can see, my Wild Growth is no longer grossly outhealing my other spells. It’s much more in line with Rejuvenation. On Live, Wild Growth will make up about 35% of my healing. On here it provides about 10% less of my healing done. Instead, Rejuvenation has gone up due to blanketing while Wild Growth is on cooldown.

So how do I compare to my fellow healing classes?

Our Holy Priest blew me out of the water. For overall effective healing, we were within 1k HpS of each other, but add the overhealing? Our Holy Priest was pumping out over 4.5k more HpS than I did. This parse was actually the one where I attempted to “pad” the meters to see if I could still pump out high, sustainable HpS. I didn’t even get close.

What’s even more shocking: The differences in Active Time. Our Holy Priest had the ability to do more healing than me while being 20% less active.

So what does this mean for Resto Druids?

Well, the sky isn’t falling…yet. We still have the ability to rival other healing classes in effective output depending on the encounter. We still bring a powerful raid cooldown (tho it’s now significantly outpaced by Divine Hymn).

My issue with 4.3 is how Druids will deal with burst damage. Wild Growth doesn’t cut it anymore and Rejuvenation is only valuable as long as it has time to be effective. Yor’sahj is just one encounter where burst healing is proven to be more effective than HoTs.

How do you think Druids will fare in 4.3?

12 Responses

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  1. Well, we’re currently recruiting a healer and I’m stalling all resto druid apps in hopes of snagging a priest. So much so I’m willing to consider bringing a holy paladin in and switching my main to a priest if needs be. I have no use for a healer that brings nothing more than HPS, especially when the “extra” HPS isn’t much, if any at all.

    I find it a little unfair to druids to nerf WG like they did. That’s all druids had, really. Seems a bit silly.

  2. Most Druids would agree that Wild Growth deserved a nerf, but I believe it was taken too far for our current toolbox we use. Wild Growth is the only way Druids were able to be successful at burst damage. Now we are back to blanketing raids with Rejuv spam again and being borderline useless for damage spikes.

    I honestly don’t blame you for holding off on Resto Druid recruitment. I find Holy Priests to be more versatile now. They are able to combat burst damage and continuous damage to the raid, all while bringing a powerful tank cooldown and a more powerful raid cooldown.

  3. Normally I try to avoid been all doom and gloom and QQ’ing but based on my experiences on the PTR, I think we are going to have severe issues in 4.3, especially for the hard modes because our burst is awful.

    I went onto the PTR completely optimistic but unless something changes, resto druids will be left out just like resto shaman were largely ignored and benched in 4.2.

    I’m working on gearing up holy priest up because my guild runs with 2 full time resto druids and I would go as far as voluntarily sitting myself so my guild can get kills, that’s how poor we are performing in the 25s. I remember how difficult raid healing was at launch where our priests and holy paladins carried us through Cho’gall and Nef kills. I am pretty annoyed to be back in that state of feeling utterly useless.

    1. I was actually playing my Holy Priest through most of T11 and didn’t really get to experience that uselessness. I felt bad for Druids because they were nothing but Innervate bots for the larger, more progressed guilds.

      In 4.1 (I think), Druids received a buff to Wild Growth and a buff to Tranquility. This was to offset their current poor performance and to make them comparable to Priests and Paladins. At the time, many Druids predicted that the newly buffed and cd-reduced Tranquility would inflate Druid numbers on the meters and make us look like we are OP.

      In 4.2 the roles were flipped. Holy Priests were being benched or asked to switch to Disc because of how powerful Barrier was and how boss mechanics required raid cooldowns to get past them. Divine Hymn was a joke. I don’t think Holy Priests ever lacked in sheer output. It was the raid cooldown they lacked. On a few encounters they could easily give Resto Druids a run for their money (Beth, Rhyo, Domo.) I specifically switched to my Druid because I felt Tranquility would give us the advantage we needed to down bosses (our other Priest went Disc at the time.)

      Now here we are in 4.3. Holy Priests received a much-needed buff to Divine Hymn and Druids receive a heavy nerf to Wild Growth, our only healing spell that reliably combats burst damage. Divine Hymn has only increased Holy’s output on the meters (by a significant amount) and it’s similar to what happened to Druids in 4.1.

      So here’s how I see it. Holy Priests outclass Druids in 3 areas now:

      1. Burst healing- Prayer of Healing/CoH spam is superior to WG/Rejuv spam now.
      2. Tank cooldown- Guardian Spirit
      3. Raid cooldown- Divine Hymn provides more output than Tranquility (625k-650k vs 425k-450k) and buffs the targets with 10% increased healing. Higher output means less player deaths.

  4. The Wild Growth problem is why we need healing shrooms to bring more burst AOE healing.

  5. Also, if you look at a lot of the meters, druids are still placing fine on them – we just aren’t beating the other class’ socks off. So, reso druids are overall placing fine on PTR meters – they just don’t automatically win the race by default. Also, Blizzard can always re-buff if druids do start getting benched. Tranquility is still fine, and druids still have Swiftmend/Efflorescence to add to their AOE healing. We’re not so dependent on WG that nerfing it would be reason to stop bringing us.

    1. But that’s the thing Liss. I think we ARE dependent on Wild Growth to get us through encounters. Yor’sahj was a perfect example of that. The heavy burst AoE was a real problem. I felt like I wasn’t moving any health bars unless I had Efflorescence up and even then it felt a bit trivial. Rejuv spam just felt awfully weak.

      I feel that 10-man Druids won’t have any noticeable issues. We downed Yor’sahj 10-man with 2 Druids and we weren’t glyphed for Wild Growth. In that encounter I felt more powerful because once I had Rejuv on everyone I could take advantage of the talent Nature’s Bounty with hasted Nourishes.

      But 25′s? There’s just too many people to blanket. I just felt extremely weak. I wasn’t moving health bars back to full. It was agonizing. I felt like I wasn’t contributing to the raid’s survival. I felt borderline worthless.

    2. Also, the fact that our Holy Priest had 20% less active healing during the encounter, but still managed to be higher really scares me. It means that there were windows where she could have healed, but didn’t possibly due to mana or healing not being needed etc. But the fact remains that she had the capacity to be higher. I didn’t. I was maxed out.

      1. I wouldn’t worry too much about the gap between Holy Priests and Resto Druids as a Druid, I’d be more worried about having Blizzard’s eye on me as a Holy Priest with “retuning” coming down the pipe.

  6. It has nothing to do with my place on the meter but whether I feel I have the tools to get my job done.

    The LFR versions of these fights, excellent resto druids will probably have no issue and parses will look fine. Maybe even on 25 normal, resto druids will be slightly okay, probably below paladins and priests and tied with resto shaman. For heroic content, and for people like myself in a guild pushing for top 200 or better, we cannot match a holy priest or holy paladin. This was the same issue we had in 4.0, I could not effectively do my job and it was especially apparent on Nef and Cho’gall.

    If healing shrooms get implemented and they work like mushrooms do now, I will never log onto my druid again to heal. In fact, I’m not all that impressed with the direction resto druids are going.

    1. Exactly. Meters are good for checking your output and seeing uptimes, etc of spells. But what really matters is if you truly feel you are contributing to your raid’s survivability. When we did 25-man Dragon Soul I felt I wasn’t contributing at all. I wasn’t seeing results. I felt my toolbox was crippled and that I couldn’t keep people alive. That’s an issue for me.

      Lissanna actually just posted something regarding future Healing Shrooms mechanics over at restokin.com that you should check out. I also posted something similar a week or so ago.

      I’d really have to see how they are implemented in MoP before I call foul on the spell, but the idea of ground-placement healing shrooms is a turnoff for me. We’ll have to see how they work out first.

  7. I think this is what bothers me most, and why I am dreading 4.3. I admit, topping the meters is fun, but its not what counts. Having the ability to keep people alive through hard phases and heavy damage, feeling like you’re pulling off miracles, is what makes healing fun. Being the weak link, the one my raid has to carry or cover for because they like me, but my class has nothing to really contribute, is not fun. To be honest, I did that this xpac with pvp already. Not real excited to be in the same place in pve.

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