Ok, so you guys know that I very very rarely talk about patch/expansion notes or changes on this blog (and I never ever post on Sundays!). There are much smarter trees who do this much better than I could (/points at folks like Beru, Bell, Keeva, and Kae). I think the last time I talked about some patch changes was over a year ago on my pie post on 3.1. But the latest announcement on their planned changes to our class in Cataclysm was something I could not keep quiet on.
First of all, let's just look at the name of this blog. When I started this blog in September of '07, I didn't choose an incredibly original name, but it fit what I wanted to blog about, healing as a restoration druid. Thus this blog is called Tree of Life. NOT Metamorphosized Tree of Life, or Tree of Life... Randomly, or Tree of Life... every 3 minutes, or Tree of Life... sometimes. Tree of Life. So WTF, I have to change this blog's name now?
So tell me, why do they not want us healing continuously in tree form? Why is it ok for bears, cats, and boomkins to continue to keep their forms? Healing forms are bad but tank/dps forms are ok? Boomkins and shadow priests switch out of their forms if they have to spot heal in a pinch. They can't heal in their main dps form. The point of a specific form is to perform that form's function, no? Isn't that what us druids are all about?
GC said in one response that:
"druids are balanced around healing in tree form, meaning they give up a lot of utility just to be as good as other healers".
What is this "utility" that other healing classes have while they are healing? Does he mean dps? Why is it such a big deal that we can't dps in our healing tree form unlike the other healing classes? I've healed with pallys, priests, and shammys. They are usually just as busy as I am healing during our raids. Aren't yours? So, what exactly does he mean by "utility" here? Someone smarter than me, enlighten me plz!
Also why do all the healing classes have to be identical? Both Beru and Bell posted good posts last week about us trees being able to tank heal, but not being able to do it as well as pallys. Why can't we just recognize that each healing class has their strengths and brings utility to the healing team? Why must we be identical? This whole "as good as other healers" gets me because I guess I feel that I can hold my own with any healing class in a 10 man or 25 man format (I don't regularly run 25 mans but I have in the past and done just fine). Yes, even with dress wearing pallys. And I don't feel like I'm missing some "utility" to do so.
Someone asked GC to respond to the fact that "There is a large difference between "controversial" and being close to unanimously hated". To which GC responded:
"You don't have any evidence of that though. Even within this thread, there are plenty of players who like the change. It's not like we design around public vote anyway".
Wow, just wow. Maybe it was just me, but I saw many more people within the thread who do not like this change. And I don't really often read the forums, but um does GC always post with such an arrogant asshat attitude?
And the whole talk about the minor glyph to keep tree form (which is just a bandaid fix BTW), even that seems uncertain:
"We might (*might*) consider a minor glyph that kept the visual of the old tree form in some fashion even when not using the Tree of Life cooldown".
Some of the other points GC made were around us getting no new spells. I haven't really had the bandwidth to be irritated by this because I'm too consumed by losing tree form to some yet to be determined cooldown mechanic. A poster asked "Other from the universal healing changes Resto Druids have absolutely NOTHING to relearn or spend time to master unlike the other healing class notes released". To which GC responded "Let me know how that Rejuv spamming with WG on cooldown works out for you at 85".
"I just pulled a couple of heroic Icecrown parses at random from among the best guilds out there. Their druids had like 60% Rejuv and 25% Wildgrowth. I'm sure some of that remainder was LB or Swiftmend or something (like a certain hammer or mace), and maybe they even saved someone's life with one of those spells. But you're going to have a hard time convincing me that druids aren't too effective with just those two spells. That will change in Cataclysm.
My parses look nothing like 60% Rejuv and 25% Wildgrowth. Yes, Rejuv is my biggest heal at about 40-45%, followed by Lifebloom, Nourish, Regrowth, then Wildgrowth. So he seems to be saying that they are looking at high end 25 man raiders also needing to use more spells, which I already do now as a 10 man healer. But this comment concerns me a bit because I wonder if they look at our functions as a healer based on a 25 man raiding environment. And not just any 25 man raiding, but the best 25 man guilds in the world. I just question whether that is a real representative sample of the majority of the player base.
Now I guess (or am hoping?) that its not 100% certain that the cooldown to tree form would go through. And as Bell rightly points out, we don't know anything about the cooldown mechanic yet. I'm not going as far as saying I would not buy Cataclysm or not play my druid if this change goes through. I am still a resto druid through and through (and hello, this is my only level 80 toon remember?). But do I like the thought of my tree form being on any form of cooldown? Hell, no. Fuck, no (I promised my guild I was going to put a f-bomb in this post).
So how can we best let ourselves heard since GC says there is no evidence we don't like this change? Hmmm, well here's a start courtesy of Keeva: