Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tree of Life... sometimes?

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?

Seriously though, I read a bit of the huge druid changes forum thread here with some of Ghostcrawler's responses which are summarized nicely on this post .

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".

He continues:

"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:


  1. You know why there are more people posting in the forums saying they are against the change? Because that's what people do. The average person is much more likely to write an email, pick up the phone or post on a forum when they have a negative reaction than when they have a positive one. This applies to everything from customer service to political announcements to WoW patch notes. There is no lack of people who love this change, they are just less vocal, because they don't feel they are being slighted in any way and therefore don't need to be overly vocal. When GC first asked the question "is healing as a tree fun?" on the forums a few months ago, there were many people who expressed a desire for tree form to go away.

    As for the lack of spells, the addition of tree form as a cooldown is a new spell that we will have to learn how to use appropriately.

  2. @Jasyla: That is true that people are vocal when they are against something.

    But let's just consider this. If (and this is a big if) the resto druid blogging community is representative of the resto druid player base (again big if), from the posts I saw this weekend, the trees are much more against this change than for it.

  3. I am beyond pissed off. Like I said in my post, if I wanted to look at my armor while healing I would have rolled a shaman, priest or paladin. The druid base lies within the shapeshifting. Bears tank, cats and owlkin dps and trees heal. If they were doing this to the whole druid forms, meh. But why just healing?

    I see this as a huge huge huge PvP buff. As someone who arenas as a resto druid (and I am rarely in tree form then), I STILL hate this change. I have the OPTION of not being a tree in the arena. Sure, I'm more squishy but I chose to stay in caster form to cyclone/root. In PvE, my tree form is my buff.

    Seriously Blizzard. What the eff... I'm not sure what the hell is up with GC but his condesending attitude is not welcome with me.

    /end rant

  4. I'm fine with the ToL changes. I actually am quite looking forward to it being a pre-emptive Oh S%^t button. It would be perfect for things like XT's tantrum and just the harder healing phases of different fights.

    I agree with Jasyla that you always hear the neg. responses far more than the positive, and I have been very surprised that there hasn't been more support in the blogging community for the move. Perhaps some of them are also afraid of rage from their readers and other bloggers.

  5. @Littlebark: #1 I'm so glad I found you again! I had you in my reader under your old blog name!

    And yes, there is a part of me that also wonders whether some of this is pvp based even though GC said it isn't. As a fellow resto druid who does a ton of pvp and arena is all 3 brackets, heck take away the extra armor buff in tree form.

    @Aceral: I wonder what it is about us resto druids and bloggers who feel differently about this? What is it that makes some of us ok with this change and others go rawr? Hmmm (slight pause for contemplation).

    Anyways, I also wondered if tree form could be a spec choice within the resto tree. Just like not all resto druids spec the same now... can't we have that choice? So enable healing in nightelf/tauren form to be viable. Then those of us who want the tree form can choose those talent points and spec differently.

    What irks me is this cookie cutter mentality that somehow we are missing some "utility" and have to be the same as other healing classes. I think there is room for differences not only between healing classes but even within our healing class.

    Let tree form be a choice... those of us who choose it and spec into it will always heal in it. Those of us who hate it can spec differently (the talents would have to be adjusted to allow this to be viable) and heal outside of tree form.

  6. @Aceral - I very much doubt that anyone speaking out for or against the ToL change on their blog is doing so for fear or "reader rage". I think it's what those players behind the blogs truly feel. (Me? I'm pissed, and that is evidenced from my post from some 9 months ago when this was first proposed).

    @K - This was excellently worded! Much better than my ARGHHHH WHYYYYYYYYY!!!!! post was :) But I agree with everything you've said here!

  7. i agree with this post and points you made. i'm quite upset with the prospect of loosing my tree form for some CD ability.

  8. I am (very) sad loosing the Tree form, but well... I still remember the vanilla times healing the raid without this form, and it was not that bad...
    Why would they not keep the actual tree form maybe with less bonusses and make a "super" tree form on CD... this should be ok for almost everybody...

  9. @fallingleavesandwings
    Yea, your probably right that a blogger would not feel threatened by reader rage etc. and thus, your perception of the general blogosperes reaction to this is probably correct.

    However, the points about over-representation of Neg. responses is still legitimate and the comments on this post are probably a prime example of this. I myself probably wouldn't have bothered posting except that I find myself with a bit of free time atm.

    I would be fine with the idea of it being a spec choice or some of the other ideas floating around. But I guess on the plus side it has gotten alot of us druids engaged and talking :)

  10. @Beru: Well this post would have probably been a lot of rawr, angry tree is angry if I had posted on Friday or Saturday. I wanted to give it a bit to digest. But yeah, there would have been exponentially more f-bombs. :)

    @Adeanna and alanoo: Yeah, its quite surprising how attached we are to our tree form isn't it? I don't think I quite realized how much I was until they talked about taking it away.

    @Aceral: Honestly, I am very glad that you chose to comment. When I first heard this potential change, I'll be honest... I never even considered the possibility that there would be resto druids that welcomed this change. So yes, the conversation and understanding the other side is valuable.

    But really it makes me a little sad for you guys if you have disliked the tree form... that you've been unhappy with an intergral part of being a resto druid this long. I'm genuinely curious, what had kept you playing a resto druid then?

  11. Regarding the 10-man vs 25-man parses: I'm actually grinning at the whole "lawl just try blanketing rejuv/wg at 85" comment. While they certainly are looking at 25-man druids, I don't think it's to the detriment of 10-man raiders: if anything, it sounds like they want the 25-man restos to play more like the 10-man restos, using the larger variety of spells.

    It gives me a warm fuzzy.

  12. This feels like a dumbing down of Druids for people who can't handle shifting, and a nerf for people who use the ability to shift between two kinds of caster (without losing the ability to heal) without any problems.

  13. @Keredria
    Tbh, I have never disliked the ToL form and enjoyed the uniqueness it brought to our class, it also made raid leading a bit easier I.e. "Everyone stack on the Tree NOW!!". However, for me that is not the most important part of the class. What I love about the resto druid is the style of healing. I like the flexibility of HoTs and how I have to be a more pro-active healer by hotting everyone up before the big influx of dmg. I like being able to jump around and move with minimal healing reduction.

    I guess it is in that context which I see the ToL change. I feel that this change is in line with the resto druids preemptive style of healing and will give me another tool which if used properly could be really useful. I kind of like the idea of the ToL form being like a 'super-tree' status. Maybe they should even make the model bigger :p

  14. @Kae: Yay warm fuzzies! Yes, it is nice to see that they want us to use more of our spells.

    I just hope they are not coming up with class changes based on the top 25 man raiding guilds in the world. I just don't think that information would be representative for most of the playerbase.

    @Bell: Really this whole needing to shift to do dps or cc boggles my mind. Boggles! Spriests and our fellow feral and boomkin druids have to shift out to spot heal. So its ok for them to shift out to fulfill a side role but not us? I just don't get it.

  15. A Resto druid's "Utility" is his/her ability to keep people alive. What else do they have to do, top DPS charts too?

    As for those who comment on finally seeing their gear...if they can appreciate their gear in combat, they are either useless, facerolling, or very, very talented (likely the former). Either way, no reasonable person (who know the class) rolls a druid to admire their gear during combat...