Sorry I haven’t been posting more regularly folks! Between work, school, and the fact that the Beta gets updated fairly regularly my drafts become outdated fairly quickly. And before you ask, yes I am in the Beta! I received my invite in the second to last round of invites.
I haven’t had a major chance to test all the abilities realistically other than through some casual questing. I admit I gave up half way to 86 because getting a critical error after every porcupine I killed wasn’t my idea of fun testing, so I’ve taken a break from Beta until the servers can become more stable. However, I am keeping myself updated on Beta patch changes and am providing appropriate feedback through the forums when necessary.
I’ve Been Waffled
In case you haven’t heard I was a guest on the latest episode of the Team Waffle Podcast which you can check out here! In fact it was my first time on a podcast EVER. I think my voice was a little shaky at first, but I think I got over it quickly enough. I’ve met Nolan (Arielle) and Lissanna (author of Restokin, who I also raid with) at Blizzcon, but it was nice to meet another Inconspicuous Bear poster (Reesi) and Rona (a fellow Balance Druid).
A decent chunk of the episode was dedicated to our Tier 6 talents which have gotten much criticism from the Druid community. Today I’d like to go over just one of those talents, Heart of the Wild, and explain how it’s currently flawed and how to fix it to become more useable in a regular raiding environment.
First let’s go over the tooltip which has incurred a recent change to its wording.
40 yd range
6 min cooldown
Dramatically improves the Druid’s ability to serve combat roles outside of normal specialization for 45 sec. Grants the following benefits based on current specializations:
- While in Bear Form, Agility, Expertise, Hit Chance, and armor bonuses increased, and chance to be hit by melee critical strikes reduced.
- While in Cat Form, Agility, Hit Chance, and Expertise increased.
- Healing increased and mana cost of all healing spells reduced by 100%. Guardian Druids may also cast Rejuvenation while shapeshifted.
- Spell Damage and Hit Chance increased. Mana cost of all damage spells reduced by 100%.
Before we dive into flaws and solutions let me be clear about how I feel about the mechanics of contributing to an offspec role. I’m OK with doing another role as long as it doesn’t prevent me from performing my primary role at the same time. With that said let’s take a look at some of the issues with the talent and how we can fix them.
Flaw- 6 minute cooldown
Having Heart of the Wild on a 6-minute cooldown really regulates the ability to only once per boss fight. Compared with other abilities that we can use multiple times throughout an encounter, this cooldown limitation really takes away from any fun or interesting ways we can implement it in raid encounters.
- Solution- Being able to use talents multiple times during an encounter tends to make them more fun and interesting to weave into your play-style. Reducing the cooldown to 3 minutes would be more than fair.
Flaw- 45 second duration
As with the lengthy cooldown, the lengthy duration is another problem. It’s just not necessary to perform another role for that length of time even in clutch situations because those instances don’t last nearly long enough.
- Solution- A 20-25 second duration is more than adequate.
Those were the easy flaws. Now let’s take a look at ones that are a little more complex.
Flaw- Off-spec choices
Let’s be realistic. There are a few choices here that don’t make much sense. The idea that every Druid spec can perform any role sounds fun, but it’s not realistic to what an average raiding environment would use or need.
- The idea of a Resto Druid stepping in to tank for a set duration would never be desired, especially when there are better ways of solving an issue (I.E. Rebirth the tank while a Rogue uses Growl via Symbiosis and pops Evasion).
Other examples would include:
- Moonkin never needing to go Cat (because their own DPS spec is superior with their gear) or Bear (for the same reasons as Resto Druids).
- Cats never needing to do range DPS or heal outside of Tranquility.
- Bears never needing to do range DPS or heal outside of Tranquility.
- Solution- Streamline the talent so each specialization is limited to one offspec role, one that has synergy with their primary role (I.E. Bears-Cats and Moonkin-Resto).
Flaw- The idea that healing takes priority over DPS
One of the more major issues with Heart of the Wild is the idea of having a Cat or Moonkin heal instead of contributing to DPS. This idea goes against what most raids utilize today which is “more DPS = faster kills = less healing required.” Many progression raid teams drop healers in favor of extra DPS to meet rigorous enrage timers. Giving DPS Druids an ability that goes against that mentality is wasteful and serves no purpose for PvE.
- Solution- Integrate the talent so that DPS and healing have a synergy with each other. Have the talent contribute to an offspec role while the Druid maintains their primary role. Example:
- Balance- Your Wrath and Starfire spells cause raid/party members to be healed for X% of the damage within 30 yards of the target. This healing effect is split evenly between friendly targets.
- Restoration- Your healing spells cause nearby enemies to suffer from the wrath of Cenarius causing damage equal to X% of all healing done within 30 yards of the target. This ability prefers to damage the target’s primary target.
This allows both Balance and Resto Druids to contribute to offspec roles while still maintaining their primary roles. If Heart of the Wild worked much like this example, then the talent would be much more beneficial as it allows Druids to contribute to extra utility without sacrificing their primary roles.
So, what do you think about Heart of the Wild and how would you change it?