After the patch
Such a busy week. As much as I hate the mess patches make, I do like that it is our first glimpse of MoP and starts to draw people back to the game. Both guilds raided this week to try out our new specs.
SR went into DS on Wednesday, with a lot of things still broken. Since Jendora will be my MoP toon, that is who I brought along, even though it would put us at 3 healers. Prior to the patch, it was basically a 2-heal raid with them occasionally being crazy and trying to single heal parts of it.
I did make sure she had some major gylphs on. She’s missing a ton of the minor glyphs, so she can’t yet do anything fun like let people ride her. (Filthy!) The saddest part is she is actually a scribe. I may have to work on learning some new ones soon; the inflated AH prices are too ridiculous.
Getting back into druid healing was different and yet not really. Once Jendora had hit a certain gear point in the past, she because incredibly lazy. It would just be about throwing Rejuvs around and using Wild Growth whenever it was on cooldown. “Oh, tank only has 97% health? Rejuv plus Swiftmend now!”
Now I have to be much more aware of my mana. I can still hear Slice grumbling about our wimpy mana pools, but it does make healing much less passive than flinging out a Wild Growth and flipping over to Facebook real quickly. Spamming Wild Growth = bye mana. So now I have to learn when it would be better to use it and not just because there is some miniscule damage left to heal and I want to see green numbers fly.
Part of being lazy was that I had also given up on using cooldowns. I rarely used tree form and don’t even think Jendora was specced for additional healing when she was a tree. Innervate was rarely used; it was used primarily if a caster had just been battle rezzed and needed mana.
I have to devote a section to the new healing Wold Mushrooms, or, as I like to call them: Smurfs Village. Druids can set up to three mushrooms on the ground and then bloom them for AoE heals. It’s such a weird little mechanic, I don’t know if I like it or not. Setting each mushroom individually is such a pain, but using up all those GCDs does stop me from spamming Wild Growth, so there’s that I guess.
The healing from Smurfs Village is ok, but since it is “set it and forget it” I have to use it for those times when we are stacked together to get the most bang for it. (It did look nice on Ultraxion when I was stacking it with other heals.) Otherwise it does feel like a novelty spell, and when we get to content where we need 3 healers, I might just forgo it for more active healing.
Saturday was Crits’ turn to go into DS and time to bring in Khiaren and see what happened to shammys. I was already sad to lose my full-time totems and I was annoyed that I would have to learn which times to use the situational ones.
(Sidenote: this run included a cameo appearance by Arioch. It looked like we were going to run DS with less than 10 and she was on her DK anyway. I think she was going for an incognito, stealth approach…but maybe she should have changed her vent name to somethng besides Arioch then.)
Like a lot of other classes, I did notice a nice DPS boost, even though I didn’t feel totally comfortable at first. Outside of the totems, elemental didn’t change all that much. Lava Burst seems to proc so much more often now and in some of the fights that seemed like all I would cast for 5 full seconds.
I do love that they reduced the cooldown of Fire Elemental. At least one of my totems stuck around, and I can use it more often now.
The healing support changed a lot. Before it was cast Healing Rain when the healers need help. (Or, as Addoe likes to call it, “shaman tears.”) I used it, looked at my mana bar, and went “that’s not great.” Thankfully there are other options. Healing Totem has to be used situationally, but it seems to be stronger than its previous version. There’s also a new talent that is like a smart heal in that it converts damage done into healing targets that need it.
What was funny was that I seemed to have much fewer mana issues with my shaman than with my druid. The only time I saw huge dips in my mana pool was when I spammed Chain Lightning or when I used healing spells. This works for me, Blizz, please don’t wreck this. Go over there and mess with pallies. :P
Overall I was pleased with both raiding experiences. Tuesday I did my usual “patch broke it all my add-ons I needs them the old way was better die Blizz” wailing. I’m not 100% comfortable with the changes yet, but I don’t feel it was the gloom and doom that I was ready for MoP to be.
Let’s see some pandas now.