Today I want to talk about a couple problems Druids are experiencing while healing in 25-man raids. These experiences are my own experiences and I feel that what I am experiencing resonates with a large portion of the community. I am by no means a hardcore theorycrafter. My guild is 4/6 Normal on 10 and 25-man and I’ve had the privilege of healing in both raid sizes.

First off, let me say that I don’t believe we have an overall HpS issue or that we don’t bring meaningful utility. I think we’ve moved past the era where Druids were only brought for their HpS and not their utility.

What I do believe is that we have an issue when it comes to Druids scaling between the 2 raid sizes. Healing in a 10-man vs. a 25-man feels like night and day. Last night when we were 2-healing 10-man Normal Elegon I felt powerful. I felt like I greatly contributed to the raid’s survival. I would consistently outpace our Monk in both HpS and overall healing done. The roles were reversed when we stepped into our 25-man.

In a 25-man raid I am still subject to the same limitations that I have in a 10-man setting, Rejuvenation spam. Let me say that it’s much easier to blanket a 10-man with Rejuv than a 25-man. At 9600 mana, Rejuv is costly to spam so I am limited to the amount of targets I can heal at a time.

While Wild Growth and Swiftmend are on cooldown, our only other option outside of Rejuv spam or Omen of Clarity/Regrowth procs is Wild Mushroom: Bloom. We were given Wild Mushroom: Bloom to help fill a gap in our toolkit: Burst healing. Not only does Wild Mushroom: Bloom fail at it’s main purpose, but it’s frustrating to setup. To put it simply: Wild Mushroom: Bloom completely stinks. The healing it puts out looks decent on paper, but how it’s applied to the raid is extremely underwhelming. In a situation where they would be used (stacked up) each mushroom hits for less than 2k per raider. That’s less than 1-tick of Healing Rain and has a much more clunky set-up time. With 350k+ health that is less than 1% of a raid member’s health pool.

Even if Blizz buffed Wild Mushroom: Bloom (which they have stated multiple times they don’t want it to be rotational), I don’t think it would solve our problem. Our problem lies in the fact that we just don’t have enough options when we add 15 more people to the raid.

Jasyla over at Cannot Be Tamed created a very nice chart that compares all healing spells by class. The gap in the Druid’s toolkit is quite alarming. Every other class/spec of healer has an ability that heals multiple targets with no cooldown attached. All of them have some type of weaker version of Rejuv via baseline/glyph/talent to utilize that makes them decent at spread/movement healing. And while I believe we are still superior in movement/spread fights, other healers now have the added tools to be competent at those types of encounters too. And honestly, I’m happy about this. I know Shaman experienced a painful time in Cataclysm where spread healing was the bane of their existence. Now they have additional tools that help them with those challenges.

Now lets reverse roles: Druids are the only healers who have no access to a healing spell that has no CD and heals multiple targets at once. Once thing I noticed while browsing through the healing forums is that many other healers have taken the attitude that Druids are being “selfish” for wanting a more complete toolkit. Comments like “I didn’t know raids were a solo healing job” really bothered me.

So I ask: Am I being selfish for wanting an ability that makes me decent at burst healing while healing multiple people at the same time? Am I selfish for wanting all healers to have access to a complete set of tools so that no one is completely abysmal at any one thing?

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

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  1. Juv, I do not think you are being selfish or unreasonable, but this brings to my mind another healing class with stereotyped heals – Holy Paladins. Even with the healing changes in Cata, there are still classes/specs that are better at some things than others. Holy Pallies are still pegged as tank healers, even though they have the same “Basic Toolkit” as all the other healers now.

    I am curious as to whether you have compared yourself to another healer in the 10mans as you did the Monk. Monks are in a strange place as they, of all the healers, have the smallest amount of history and adjustment to draw from.

    I think it is a matter of us all still looking for that niche spot we fill, which we had in Cata, but need to rediscover in Mists.

    ~ Effy

    1. As I understand, Monks are not as powerful in 10′s as they are in 25′s, but that is being rectified in 5.1 where their Mastery will become more powerful than it currently is. They probably needed a buff, but I just wonder how that’s going to affect their already staggering output in 25′s.

      I’m cool with niches. I think niches are needed to help keep a diverse healing pool. Certain healers can be better than others at certain ways of healing and I completely support that ideology. But I also think that other healers who may not be as strong at that certain type of healing should have some limited tools to perform the same job competently.

  2. I don’t think you are being selfish and in any event there isn’t anything wrong with that if you are. I do think you’re wrong, however. Your post is gratifying to me in a sad way. I have never been a fan of the “bring the player not the class” design philosophy. As I predicted years ago, all it did was change player complaints from “this encounter is busted because we can’t find anyone to play class x so we can finish it” to players complaining that “my class is busted because other classes do things better than my class.” Personally, when I look at the table you linked to I see the problem is in the other direction. Too many classes play the same. If druids are busted I’m glad we are busted; it least that makes us different. The right answer isn’t to make Druids play like the rest; it’s to go bust up some of those other classes to make them play differently from each other.

    1. I think there are ways to give every healer a similar tool without completely homogenizing all the specs. There can still be strengths and weaknesses for all the healers, but in no way should a healer not be able to perform an assigned task because of a lack of tools. Shaman can still be excellent at stacked healing and Priests can still be the best at burst healing. But when there’s a lack of a tool that completely prevents a healer from performing a task, I think that’s a legit problem to have.

  3. I don’t think it’s selfish for druids to want a complete toolkit as long as they are fine with other healers getting an equally complete toolkit. I’m not completely up to date on the current healer comparisons, but let’s say for example the classic advantage of druid mobility – would you be okay if other healers got this, if you got a stronger AoE burst heal? What about things like a battle rez, or shapeshift-out-of-snares?

    I don’t mean this argumentatively, mind you. If you would be fine with every healer having all tools, then by all means, yes, druid should have as potent burst heals as everyone else. But a lot of druid feedback I’ve seen do NOT want to lose their class advantages, in which case okay, that’s fine, but certain classes will remain better at certain things. (Example, the OUTRAGE at the suggestion that Priests or Paladins should get a battle rez) Can’t have it both ways.

    1. The problem here Rades is that other healers HAVE a complete toolkit when it comes to the different type healing that’s required. Every other healer has a way to deal with damage while spread out. Every other healer has a way to deal with burst damage. Every other healer has a way to deal with sustained AoE damage.

      A good example: When it comes to spread healing, it’s not like Shaman have absolutely no tools to deal with it (like they did in Cata). They have Glyph of Riptide that allows them to spam Riptide similar to Rejuv. They certainly won’t be as good as Druids, but they do have a tool at their disposal to use.

      And that’s basically my argument. We aren’t asking to have amazing burst like Priests. We just want a mediocre burst heal (that is FLUID, and WM:B is NOT FLUID) so that we can contribute and adapt to every type of encounter just like every other healer. Right now the tool simply doesn’t exist. We don’t have an option for any type of subpar burst healing that the Druid class should be capable of.

  4. My biggest problem right now is our lack of options. Wild Growth, Swiftmend, Lifebloom, Rejuv and Regrowth are all great spells, but right now it feels like those 5 spells are really all we have in our toolkit. Tranq is great but has a 3-minute cooldown. Mushrooms are terrible. As we were talking about today, HT and Nourish are outclassed by RG. So I just feel like we don’t have enough healing spells to cast, and it can get a little boring. Priests, Pallies and Monks all have a ton of spells to choose from (Shaman not so much), and I’m a little jealous of that.

    As for healing output, I think we’re doing okay. Not fantastic, but okay. Strangely, the only times I’m able to beat our Monks on meters is when tank damage is much heavier than raid damage (Stone Guard and Will). Otherwise, the other healers can generally cast more AoE/group heals than me and cast them more often and my HoTs end up overhealing a ton.

    I have no desire for Druids to go back to the way we were in Firelands. I think that on the majority of fights any healer should be equally capable of healing the most, it should be based on player skill and play style, not class I don’t feel this is the case right now.

    1. Completely agree with everything. Healers should be brought based on personal skill, not because they have no way of functioning during an encounter. All healers should have strengths and weaknesses to help keep them to their separate niches, but all of them should also have the tools to deal with all types of incoming damage.

  5. Would you be prepared for your cooldown-free multi-target heal to also have a cast time the way Prayer of Healing does? I’d think that a heal of this type would have trouble meshing will with uptime on your hots, but I could be massively wrong.

    Not every healer needs to have the same type of spells available to them, IMO, and most encounters CAN be done with any type of healer given a reasonable amount of player skill and strategy, though that’s not to say that every encounter SHOULD be done that way. Bring the best team and progress.

    1. Oh I agree. I don’t think Resto Druids are looking for a Prayer of Healing copy. I think many of us were actually surprised to see Monks get Uplift, mainly because that seems like an ability that would fit so well with our toolkit. At this point anything similar to Uplift would be nice or if Blizz is hellbent on not giving us a fluid burst heal then we need a way to spread Rejuv out quicker. Even giving Rejuv a 20% chance to spread to another target on tick would be a nice improvement.

  6. The mana cost of Rejuvenation has been reduced by 9% in 5.2 – a step in the right direction or just something to hush us down?

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