Friday, 14 December 2007

Quick Update

Just a quick update to explain my absense I'm working on a new site for this blog which is content managed. Design is complete just at the implementation stage.

As to what I've been doing in the World (of Warcraft) currently my guild and I are working our way through Serpentshrine Cavern. We got Morogrim down this week and have been working on Solarian lately.

Making good progress within Zul Aman as well, currently working on Hex Lord Malacross.

Hating the look of Zul Aman items though, some of Zul Gurub's items were quite tasty looking (gief re-use of Will of Arlokk plxplx).

Friday, 5 October 2007

Primal Mooncloth Robe vs Windhawk Set

One of the major decisions a druid naturally comes across in their time, is what profession to take. For feral druids, there are a number of very good items to be made from Leatherworking as Big Bear Butt Blogger mentions.

However in the case of restoration druids for BOP equipment there are two main contenders being namely: Tribal Leatherworkers vs Primal Mooncloth Tailor

Lets look at the advantages of both:

Tribal Leatherworking

Most people associate this profession more closely with the druid because it produces leather items. The Windhawk set is a very good set for druids who also want some spell damage on their items.

Its such a shame that Blizzard developers never developed a new armour skin for this set and instead relying on old tribal leatherworking looks for this set. Yes this is a minor point and quite vain but when you have to look at the back of your character for hours within the game, looks are a valid point for consideration.

The set bonus is quite underwhelming, just 8 mana/5 more for completing the set? No procs, no related stat bonuses, no special abilities? M'eh, however looking on the bright side this is a proc which helps both Moonkins and Restoration druids equally.

I would say the bracers are the best leather +heal bracers until you get to SSC / TK unless you grab a pair of these from the Maiden or grind PVP to get these. I would say that whilst spell crit on this set is obviously for Moonkins it can be advantageous to a dreamstate restoration build in helping Natures Grace proc more. A good solid set especially for restoration druids who dip their toes in the balance tree.

Primal Mooncloth Tailoring

"Cloth? But you're supposed to wear leather." is the most common reaction I have heard to seeing a druid in the Primal Mooncloth Set.

First things first the armour is the first major difference, but when talking about 299 armour, its really not much of an issue because as a healer you aren't technically supposed to be hit within a 5 man/raid. For those who spend merrily spend their time at the battlegrounds however armour can be a key difference for vital fights.

The second major difference is the distinct lack of stamina on the Primal Mooncloth Robe, when starting out in 5 mans/Karazhan/Gruuls Lair/Magtheradon, its not a major issue. However when you get into TK and SSC the magic number for health seems to be 8000 health. The lack of stamina can be accommodated for with Fortitude Buff, Blood Pact or Commanding Shout. As a Tree Druid I often get put into the Main Tank group so I tend to get those buffs during the course of the raid. There are also several trinkets which can help you out such as this or this. Again people who PVP with the Primal Mooncloth Robe are a walking advertisement for having little stamina and a primary target for focus fire.

The next big difference is Intellect, Windhawk wins here with +17 more Intellect. However Int is not a key stat for Tree of Life Restoration Druids, whilst its certainly nice to have a large mana pool Tree of Life druids gain more benefit from spirit. Saying that a Dreamstate Resto druid would get much more benefit out of stacking intellect as their damage/heal is increased by 25% of their intellect, and the dreamstate talent increases mana/5 by 10% of their intellect so an additional 1.7 mana/5 is not to be sneezed at. Again for PVP, intellect has a higher priority, more spells cast from a larger mana pool = teh win.

Spirit next, there is 10 more spirit on the Windhawk set than the Primal Mooncloth set. This will provide more effect when Intensity is changed to 30% mana regeneration in combat.

The most interesting stat is next, +heal, and the Primal Mooncloth Set has over +100 heal more than the Windhawk set. Obviously much more of a benefit for the Primal Mooncloth Set.

Next is spell damage, this isn't of use to either Dreamstate Restoration druids or Tree of Life druids unless grinding. In which case Windhawk clearly wins since there is no spell damage on the Primal Mooncloth set.

See above for Spell crit, another win for Windhawk.

The penultimate stat to be looked at is mana regeneration is mana/5 and since there isn't any on the Windhawk Set (set bonus aside), the Primal Mooncloth Set wins.

Now for sockets, the Windhawk has 3 yellow sockets and 3 blue sockets allowing some customisation. The Primal Mooncloth has 2 yellow sockets and 2 blue sockets. Windhawk wins this round for being more customisable. Its a shame both sockets aren't red for Teardrop gems however.

Finally set bonuses, I've already touched on the Windhawk bonus a rather static 8 mana/5, good for raids and grinding. However the Primal Mooncloth set bonus is that it allows an additional 5% of mana regeneration to occur in combat. A druid who has a mana regeneration rate of 350 mana/5 will get an additional 17.5 mana/5. The great thing about this bonus is that it scales with gear, so that if you socketed for more spirit, it would be more advantegous (ignoring the fact that 9 +heal / 2mp5 gems make better use of their allocated budget than 9 +heal / 4 spirit gems).

The last point which helped me personally decide what profession to take for Aftereight, a druid who I knew would be healing, is that Tailoring only really takes up one profession choice. Whilst you can level leatherworking without skinning, it is much more expensive to do so.

So in summary, the Primal Mooncloth robe seems much better suited to Tree of Life druids who know they will be healing in raids. In the next patch where a third of healing is converted to spell damage, Primal Mooncloth will start to catch up for grinding purposes.

However if you are a dreamstate restoration druid or think you may go more into balance, or if you are simply a druid who values a starting set for PVP the Windhawk set seems definitely geared towards you.

Friday, 28 September 2007


As many of the druids have recently seen, there are a lot of interesting changes coming in the next patch for restoration druids.

  • New relics are added to support all talent trees in patch 2.3 for Shaman, Paladins and Druids. Most of the arena-system existing Relics have been renamed to create a more consistent naming convention

  • +Healing bonus will give 33% of spell damage as well (1500 Healing bonus will give you 500 Spell damage)

  • Many new macro inputs as well as druid 'cancelform' becoming an instant like 'dismount'

  • Cure Poison and Abolish Poison may now be cast in Tree of Life form

  • Remove Curse may now be cast in Moonkin form

  • Rebirth cooldown reduced to 20 minutes

  • Intensity increased to 10/20/30% mana regeneration.

A few blogs have focused on mana regeneration or the reduction for the cooldown of rebirth.

But I'm quite excited about:
Many new macro inputs as well as druid 'cancelform' becoming an instant like 'dismount'

Let me give you an example; the other night I was in Karazhan with two other healers, second healer was great as always, but we took a second healing druid with us who was abysmal, didn't pull their weight partially because of skill and partially because of wearing some dodgy gear choices despite walking around with t4 legs, t4 hands and t5 shoulder (-_-) tokens in his bags because he wants to save them for when he goes Moonkin.

I have never used my emergency macro so much in all my times of raiding, which consists of NS + Regrowth.

So I'm very much hoping after the patch my emergency macro will be able to change to:

Drop out of tree form and cast OMGBIGMASSIVEUBER healing touch on my emergency target.

In a true emergency where lets say one of the healers aren't doing their job, Regrowth + Swiftmend only goes so far to help cover the health deficit, before another healer can help chip in the heals.

Roll on 2.3!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Procs in Perspective

More stats, this time I'm looking at the Malorne Raiment set Infusion proc:
2 pieces: Your helpful spells have a chance to restore up to 120 mana.

Karazhan First Night (Attueman, Mores, Maiden, Wizard of Oz Opera, Curator)
Mana Infusion (procced 76 times)

92 mins ((92 x 60) /5) = 1104 five sec intervals
120 (mana restored) x 76 = 9120 mana restored through whole raid
9120 (mana restored) / 1104 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 8.1 mana/5

Karazhan Second Night (Shade of Aran, Ilhoof, Netherspite, Chess, Prince, Nightbane)
Mana Infusion (procced 61 times)

56 mins ((56 x 60) /5) = 672 five sec intervals
120 (mana restored) x 61 = 7320 mana restored through whole raid
7320 (mana restored) / 672 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 10.9 mana/5

Hmmn, with an approx. average of 9.4 mana/5 I thought it would give more mana back than that, but it fits in with I've heard about this proc.

Next up was the Insightful Earthstorm Diamond Mana Restore proc
2% chance on successful spell cast to restore 300 mana

First Night Karazhan (procced 31 times)
92 mins ((92 x 60) /5) = 1104 five sec intervals
300 (mana restored) x 31 = 9300 mana restored
9300 (mana restored) / 1104 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 8.4 mana/5

Second Night Karazhan (procced 18 times)
56 mins ((56 x 60) /5) = 672 five sec intervals
300 (mana restored) x 18 = 5400 mana restored
5400 (mana restored) / 672 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 8 mana/5

Again fairly consistent, seems to be a little worse than the Mana Infusion hovering at 8 mana/5 but still not too bad.

Last but not least the Blue Dragon Card of Awesomeness. I didn't get Divine Spirit until the last fight of the second Night, hence the discrepancy in the results here.

Blue Dragon Card (1029 mana restored) procced 36 times
92 mins ((92 x 60) /5) = 1104 five sec intervals
1029 (mana restored) x 36 = 37044 mana restored
37044 (mana restored) / 1104 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 33.5 mana/5

Blue Dragon (procced 25 times)
56 mins ((56 x 60) /5) = 672 five sec intervals
1029 (mana restored) x 25 = 25725 mana restored
25725 (mana restored) / 672 (every five seconds of the whole raid)

total: 38 mana/5

Blue Dragon Card wins hands down regenning approx. 35 mana/5, even without a disc/holy priest to buff Divine Spirit.

Hope this has helped other druids put a value on their procs :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Blue Dragon Card of Awesomeness

One interesting perception I've found in World of Warcraft lately is that unless an item is level 70, its less than adequate. I've encountered this attitude in guild chat, trade chat and even general chat. Somewhat staggering as some of the best trinkets are from BWL, a level 60 instance.

However there is one outstanding trinket I'd like to bring your attention to, which is a level 60 epic:

With the nerf of three piece Stormrage and Transcendence bonuses, mana regeneration perhaps one of the most important stats as a healer. Its this stat which allows us to keep healing over a long time, and a trinket like this is very useful for long fights and for healers who are constantly in the 5 second rule (hello 3 stack lifebloom!). Its also quite hard to judge the effectiveness of proc based items, but hopefully my calculations below will make it easier.

Taking my stats from last nights Karazhan run (finishing off Netherspite, Prince and Chess), I can see that my Blue Dragon card procced 14 times over 33 minutes of healing. Unfortunately the Armory hasn't updated in a while, to see either of my two new helms Cowl of Natures Breath or Crown of Malorne, but I had 684 spirit fully buffed with Divine Spirit last night.

You can calculate the mana regained each proc as shown below:
Spirit formula for druids in caster form/moonkin/tree is: Spirit/4.5 + 15
684/4.5 + 15 = 167 per tick (2 seconds) * 7.5 (to get 15 seconds worth of mana regeneration)

Giving us a total of 1252.5 mana regained per proc

Using the data from the log above, 33 mins is equal to ((33 * 60) / 5) 396 five seconds intervals:
(14 * 1252.5) / 396 = 44.3 mana/5 throughout the run last night.

44.3 mana/5 is a substantial amount for any trinket, and is quite easily obtainable.

So still a very useful trinket for Tree of Life druids who have a good amount of spirit and are in the 5 second rule a lot of the time.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Decisions, decisions

On Friday night, we killed Gruul and I was the happy benefactor of the Cowl of Natures Breath. That is, happy until I put it on...

Why oh why did Blizzard developers decide that druidic healing items should look like a reconstituted Bloodfang set? Is it a subtle poke at our gentle loving nature? Do they think that in combat or PVP combatants will be fooled by our merciless exterior?

Why not reuse the tier 3 sets, I think everyone agreed they looked very good (except for the poor warlocks, haha it would appear there IS a price for being uber all the time).

So I am back to hiding my helmet (*shakes fist at the orange Watcher's Cowl*) and looking very priestly in my Primal Mooncloth Set. I can't wait until I eventually get my tier 4 druid helm which will proudly proclaim myself as a antlered druid in priests clothing.

However much I grumble about the raid entry leather looks, I have to say that I like the art direction Blizzard is taking with tiers 5 and 6. Apart from learning how to take down new bosses, or being with friends in the guild I have to be honest and admit that I'm quite vain and want my clothes to reflect the effort I put into raiding.

Roll on SSC, TK and beyond ^^

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Improved Tranquility

Whilst reading the forums lately, I've seen a general attitude of negativity and disdain to this talent. As druids have no aggro dump (trinkets excepted), I feel this talent is essential for 5 mans and heroic instances; even in raiding its saved many a tricky situation (for example the pyroblast at Aran in Karazhan) and I feel its more than worth the two points used to get the talent.

Firstly lets talk about threat mechanics for the druid class. Healing causes 0.5 threat for each point healed to EACH mob engaged whilst the druid is in combat. With the Subtlety talent (-20% threat on all spells) this is reduced to 0.4 threat per health point healed.

Taking a working example from a recent Karazhan log, we can see that my tranquility ticks for 2026, and theres 4 ticks for the duration of the spell. This means potentially 2026 * 4(ticks to get the full duration) * 5 (party members) = 40,520 health restored, having a situation where all party members actually require full healing is unlikely. Its more likely that only half of the party is being beat upon, so changing the party members to 2, gives us a total of 16k health healed, 16,000 * 0.4 (threat modifier) giving a total of 6400 threat divided amongst all NPCs that are aware of the character.

Obviously if you have three or less mobs aware of you, then having a 2000 threat hardstart on the tank could be a death sentence if you are in a heroic for example. Even taking the Timelapse Shard as an reasonably obtainable epic threat reducing trinket, it only permanently reduces agro by -901 threat every two minutes. As you can see this doesn't entirely cover the approximate 2100 threat generated by tranquility. Improved Tranquility however negates this situation, and as panic buttons for druids go, this is as good as it gets.

Personally as mentioned above I've found that Improved Tranquility has been very useful in many situations including raiding. Its saved a few wipes, by bringing the group back from the point of death to a more mangeable situation.

Whilst I can see where the druids who think its the tanks job to manage all threat issues are coming from (even if it is generated by copious amounts of healing), at the end of the day this game is about cooperation and if you can work with your tank to make a situation more manageable then you should do so.

Improved Tranquility is worth taking a second look at.

NB. Many thanks go out to Karthis for the correction on healing threat.