This thread is for discussion of general Resto healing topics: talents, glyphs, spell usage and techniques, boss-specific healing strategies, etc. Specific discussion of itemization and gear selection is left for a separate thread here: http://elitistjerks....n_thread_3_3_a/ . Please read the Forum Rules before posting. In addition, don't ask questions that are clearly answered in this post; they will be infracted.
=Talents and Glyphs=
The following talents will be included in any Resto spec for raid use: Genesis, Moonglow, Nature's Majesty, Nature's Splendor, Improved Mark of the Wild, Nature's Focus, Natural Shapeshifter, Intensity, Omen of Clarity, Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Nature's Swiftness, Gift of Nature, Nature's Bounty, Swiftmend, Empowered Rejuvenation, Revitalize, Tree of Life, Improved Tree of Life, Gift of the Earthmother, Wild Growth.
The degree of choice in you spec comes when you allocate the last few points. The candidates are:
- Nature's Grace: Somewhat improves your Regrowth, and is a prerequisite to Celestial Focus.
- Celestial Focus: Provides a small amount of haste to all of your spells, and lowers the haste cap for Rejuvenation (see below). You have to spend 1 extra filler point in the Balance tree to get this.
- Empowered Touch: Frequently taken for its effect on Nourish. Good to take if you plan on using Nourish very much, for example, if you ever have to heal tanks.
- Subtlety: Usually taken simply to get to the next tier, this can occasionally prevent a death.
- Naturalist: Used for very specific Glyph of Healing Touch-based builds.
- Tranquil Spirit: the mana savings from this will only be significant if you're chaincasting Nourish frequently. Will be used in a heavy tank healing build.
- Living Seed: This is a nice improvement to Regrowth and Nourish. If you're not delving into the Balance tree for Celestial Focus, you'll probably pick this up.
- Living Spirit: A good place to put any extra points.
- Improved Barkskin: Another place you might put extra points.
- Natural Perfection: A small throughput gain for any spells that can crit. Usually only used with the 4T9 set bonus.
If you're just getting started or looking for a ready-made spec option, this is a versatile one that's good to start with:
The main variation will be to take some of the points out of Balance (typically done by well-geared players who can reach the haste cap without Celestial Focus):
A few more mathematical facts I just want to keep here for the people who are interested:
- Genesis: Affects the HoT portions only of Lifebloom and Regrowth. Affects Tranquility. Stacks additively with Gift of Nature, Improved Rejuvenation, and Glyph of Healing Touch.
- Moonglow, Tree of Life, and Tranquil Spirit stack additively. Mana cost is rounded down after multiplying. Applies after -type effects. Moonglow does not affect Lifebloom. None of these talents affects the Lifebloom mana refund.
- Nature's Grace: Does not proc from Rejuvenation crits with the 4T9 bonus, or the bloom of Lifebloom.
- Celestial Focus and Gift of the Earthmother stack multiplicatively with each other and with all other haste bonuses. The Lifebloom GCD reduction multiplies the GCD by 0.9, rather than giving 10% additional haste.
- Master Shapeshifter and Tree of Life Aura stack multiplicatively. Tree of Life Aura does not stack with the Paladin talent Improved Devotion Aura.
- Improved Mark of the Wild and Living Spirit: These stack multiplicatively with each other and with Kings.
- Omen of Clarity: Has a 3.5/60 = 5.83% chance to proc on spellcast. Does not proc from and is not consumed by shapeshifting. Gift of the Wild, if cast on 25 people, has a very high chance of proccing this.
- Wild Growth: The base heal decays with each tick, but all extra healing from spellpower is equal across the ticks.
- Empowered Touch: adds 0.2 and 0.4 to the base spellpower coefficients of Nourish and Healing Touch.
- Empowered Rejuvenation: multiplies all coefficients of all other healing spells by 1.2 (note how these two work slightly differently).
Major Glyphs: Glyphs are largely situation-specific. The two most commonly used are and . A number of others have potential use at various fights:
- : This significantly changes how Rejuvenation works, so the choice of whether to use it is important. For standard Rejuv-blanketing around the raid, this is typically not helpful as it reduces the number of targets you can have Rejuvenation on at once and requires you to refresh more often. But where you need more focused healing on fewer targets, the Glyph makes your HoT significantly stronger.
- : Primarily a tank healing tool.
- : A respectable mana return (on the order of 40 MP5 if used on cooldown). Often a good filler when you don't have three important healing Glyphs to use.
- : Reliably strengthens both the direct heal and HoT on the tank, which is valuable. Otherwise, generally a small benefit, since you don't repeatedly cast Regrowth on one person very often.
A few Resto Glyphs are currently rarely used:
- : Rarely provides a significant amount of healing. Most fights simply do not have people sitting at low HP for any continuous length of time.
- : Frees up some GCD's if you roll Lifeblooms, but we rarely build rotations around Lifebloom anyway.
- : This is primarily a leveling Glyph. But using this and the Naturalist talent does give us one new tool--a heal with cast time significantly under 1 second. But since the spell is locked out by the GCD anyway, this of limited benefit. Occasionally you might want the unusually rapid heal to respond to some boss ability.
- : An option to keep in mind for fights where special mechanics make it easy for Rebirthed person to die immediately. Our Rebirth is an important contribution to the raid, and you don't want to waste it.
For more in-depth discussion of Glyphs, see the post immediately below this one.
can save a bit of mana if you have to rebuff people during a fight. Other than that, no Glyphs affect our combat mechanics. can prevent you from being embarrassed with no reagents, and saves an inventory slot to boot.
http://elitistjerks....n_thread_3_3_a/ is the place to go for detailed discussion of items and gearing. This one has the basic background.
In roughly descending order of importance.
Improves all of our heals. For more detail on spellpower coefficients, you can see [below post] or look into TreeCalcs. For the purpose of improving throughput (healing done per unit time), spellpower will always be a top stat.
32.79 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. This reduces the cast time and GCD of all of our spells, to a minimum of 1 second GCD. An important value is the amount of haste needed to reach this cap, because beyond that value, haste has no effect on any of our instant-cast spells or on Nourish. With all raid buffs and 5/5 Gift of the Earthmother, the cap is 735 haste with 3/3 Celestial Focus, and 856 haste without Celestial Focus. See TreeCalcs for the haste cap with other combinations of buffs.
Spirit provides 0.15 spellpower per point with Improved Tree of Life. With Blessing of Kings and Improved Mark of the Wild, it provides 0.168 spellpower (0.194 with Living Spirit). This makes it a weak throughput benefit.
Spirit and Int will both increase your natural regen, which scales like (0.016725 * sqrt(Int) * Spi) MP5. With 3/3 Intensity, you get half this amount while casting.
Critical strike rating:
45.9 crit rating gives 1% to crit. Crit heals do 1.5 times the healing of non-crit heals (1.545 with a Revitalizing meta). Nourish, Healing Touch, Swiftmend, the Regrowth direct heal, the Lifebloom bloom, and Rejuvenation ticks with the 4T9 set bonus can crit. Crit rating provides significantly less throughput increase per point than haste rating.
Intellect provides 0.006% to crit per point. With Blessing of Kings and Improved Mark of the Wild, it provides 0.00673% (148.5 points per 1% crit, roughly 1/3 of a crit rating). This makes it an even weaker throughput gain than Spirit and crit.
Similarly, with these talents, one point of Intellect increases your maximum mana by 16.8, your regen from Replenishment by 0.168 MP5. It also increases your natural passive regen, as mentioned above. Int will generally provide slightly less regen than Spirit, even if you have Revitalize.
Adds no throughput. Adds a similar amount of regen to Spirit and Intellect.
Our two primary throughput stats are spellpower, and haste rating until the cap. Crit, Int, and Spirit are all secondary.
In practice, mana problems are solved by using trinkets that provide substantial amount of mana, , Innervating yourself, , potions, or Mana Tide Totem. You won't go out of your way to gear for Spirit, Int, or MP5 for mana reasons.
Caster epics have Intellect, Stamina, spellpower, and 2 out of the following: crit rating, hit rating, haste rating, Spirit, or MP5. Keep in mind a few rules of thumb, which are enough to get a quick estimate of the value of any piece:
- Higher-ilvl gear is stronger. Spellpower usually increases very regularly with ilvl, so we have a consistent gain.
- More sockets are better (since they allow us to stack more spellpower, primarily).
- Haste is significantly better than all other options. Haste/Spirit is ideal, but you can consider using haste/crit, haste/MP5, or even haste/hit before any non-haste items, until you're at the cap.
- Set bonuses and unusual procs (like , , or ) provide additional ways to increase your total healing output where you can't gain any more spellpower or haste. That tends to make all of these things good choices.
For exact numerical comparisons, plug your setup into Treecalcs.
Gems: Gem in all sockets, or / to make the haste cap. If you're using an Insightful meta, use one wherever you can get the best socket bonus. In your meta socket (only use hats with meta sockets), use either or , depending on whether mana is regularly a concern for you.
Set Bonuses: The 4T8, 4T9, and 4T10 bonuses all provide significant buffs to Rejuvenation. Use whichever is the best one you have access to. All other set bonuses are comparatively inconsequential.
Idols: for 30 Emblems of Frost is the best. Until that's available to you, buy for 25 Emblems of Triumph (which is nearly as good), otherwise for 25 Emblems of Valor. You can also consider using Awakening to alleviate serious mana problems (remember you can swap to it mid-fight).
Trinkets: A large number of trinkets have spellpower, and you'll want to get two of these. The only likely exceptions are or , again if you have mana problems (either should provide around as much regen as ). The highest-spellpower trinkets are and . There's a good line of healer trinkets with passive spellpower and a mana proc, of which is now an easily-accessible example. The best trinket of this variety is . More on trinkets at http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t88836-restoration_itemization_thread_3_3_a/#post1526740 .
Consumables: Use and a 46 spellpower food (such as a Feast). You should also keep handy.
Excluding profession bonuses, you should use:
- Head: 30 spellpower/10 MP5 (Wyrmrest Accord revered)
- Shoulders: 24 spellpower/8 MP5 (Sons of Hodir exalted)
In the head and shoulder slots, you might favor the crit version if you have the 4T9 set bonus.
- Back - 23 haste
- Chest - 10 stats. 8 stats is cheaper option at a tiny stats loss.
- Wrists - 30 spellpower
- Gloves - 28 spellpower
- Leggings - 50 spellpower/20 spirit. 50 spellpower/30 stamina is another option if you want more HP.
- Boots - Run speed/15 stam. Run speed/9 stam is a cheaper option until you need the HP.
- Weapon - 63 spellpower to a 1H, or 81 spellpower to a staff.
Tailoring lets you trade some haste rating for a spellpower proc. Lightweave Embroidery gives 295 spellpower for 15 seconds, 35% proc on spellcast, 60 second cooldown. It can proc off HoT ticks, making the average proc time instantaneous. 72 spellpower is a decent estimate of the average. Amusingly, the enchant also gives 1 Spirit for some reason.
If you're at or near the haste cap, shedding 23 haste can be a convenience for your gear/gem setup. Otherwise, you'd probably prefer the constant spellpower from other professions.
A minor convenience of Tailoring is that for the cost of one , you can swap your leg enchant between 20 Spirit and 30 Stamina for fights where a little extra HP is helpful.
Beyond that, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, and Leatherworking all provide a roughly equal gain of 46-48 spellpower. Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting give their bonuses with gems, which allows you to take the bonus in the form of haste instead of spellpower if you're below the cap.
Alchemy: At any time, either or Mixology (with your ) will give you 47 spellpower.
There are number of small conveniences: , , double-duration Flasks, and the ability to make your own .
Blacksmithing: An extra socket each in your wrists and gloves, each with a , gives 46 spellpower, or 40 haste rating.
Enchanting: 23 spellpower to each ring gives 46 spellpower.
Inscription: 70 spellpower/15 crit to shoulders in place of the Sons of Hodir enchant gives 46 spellpower.
Jewelcrafting: 3 in place of 3 gives 48 spellpower.
Leatherworking: 76 spellpower to bracers in place of the usual 30 spellpower gives 46 spellpower.
Engineering and Skinning are weaker, both giving less benefit than the 46 spellpower.
Engineering lets you replaces 23 haste on your cloak with 27 spellpower. Since we have no particular use for Hyperspeed Accelerators, this is a weak profession.
Skinning gives 40 crit rating.
Mining and Herbalism provide minor survivability benefits, but no healing benefit.
It's important to not waste time between casts. This is an easy way to lose quite a lot of healing over the course of a fight without realizing it. This section contains a bit of information that you should know about spell targeting, timing, haste, queueing, and the GCD.
By default, a heal targets your target, if it exists and is friendly. Otherwise, if you have Auto Self Cast activated (Interface->Game->Combat), it will target yourself. If not, you will get the dreaded "blue hand" asking you to choose your target.
You can control targeting priority using macros. For example, if you want to heal your target's target if your target is hostile:
#showtooltip /use [@target, help][@targettarget, help] Rejuvenation
Most healers use mouseover macros of some variety (either with Clique (see below), or with keyboard binds, or both). The basic form of a mouseover macro is this:
/use [@mouseover, help] Rejuvenation
You can any combination of click-casting and keybinds to heal effectively, so long as you don't use the "blue hand."
The theorycrafting reflected in this article and in the associated spreadsheet uses the following understanding of spellcasting rules:
GCD: whenever you attempt any GCD-incurring action (including any spellcast), a client-side GCD begins to run immediately. If the action fails, the client cancels the GCD when it finds out about the failure from the server. If the action succeeds, the GCD runs to completion. The client will not transmit any action to the server while a GCD is running.
Queueing: when a spellcast ends on the server, if the server has recently (within 200-300 milliseconds) received a cast command from the client, it will begin that cast immediately.
First, recall that the client processes events when you release the key. Keep that in mind for learning your timing.
After a Regrowth, Healing Touch, or Rebirth: You want to press the next spell such that it arrives at the server in the "queueing window" as your spell is ending. Start spamming your next spell when your spell hits the red part of the Quartz cast bar, and stop once the new cast begins.
After an instant: No queueing here, and the ability to cast the next spell is determined by the client-side GCD. Watch your Quartz GCD spark and press your spell right as it ends. Pressing it early is a waste and will return a "spell not ready" error in your client.
After a Nourish or a Glyphed Healing Touch: Identical to an instant cast. Press your spell as the GCD ends.
We spend the great majority of our time casting instants and rarely get to use the spell-queueing system. So you want to get very comfortable with the rhythm of your GCD spark. If done perfectly, each GCD begins as the previous one ends, with no visible gap.
You should know when to queue a cast-time spell as well, to maximize the value of your Regrowth.
This section is short, since discussion of various healing techniques and spell usage will be largely be the focus of the discussion thread.
Rejuvenation: The workhorse of our healing. The ability to have this ticking on up to 17 people in a raid at once is what really sets us apart from other heals. Together with Wild Growth, allows the most healing done per unit time of any of our spells. You will use this heavily at most boss fights. Get used to instinctively putting it up on tanks, people targeted by boss abilities, people with damaging debuffs on them, anyone prone to damage based on fight mechanics (often melee), and anyone else if you have time left.
Wild Growth: Strong multi-target heal. The 7s duration means it's used more like a reactive heal than a true HoT. It will automatically target the 5/6 lowest-HP people within range (not necessarily including the target). This combined with Rejuvenation accomplishes the majority of our raid healing. In heavy damage situations you'll use Wild Growth on cooldown. Make sure to cast it anytime an AoE effect hits some people in the raid. Wild Growth is unusual in that in can be targeted on a hostile unit and will still apply to the lowest-HP raid members near that unit.
Regrowth: Medium direct heal with a long HoT. This is a good way to get a single direct heal on someone in the raid who needs it. It shines particularly when you need to cast a few in row on various people and can take advantage of Nature's Grace. Chaincasting this on one person tends to be weak since it wastes the HoT--use Nourish for that. Regrowth also provides an added HoT to keep on tanks.
Nourish: A larger direct heal that attains its maximum strength when the target has HoT's on them. This is our only way to continually pump healing into one target. Use it when you're healing a tank, or anytime you've already applied HoT's to a target and still need to heal them further.
Lifebloom: A tricky spell to use. It's most often simply a way to drop a bit of extra HoT power on someone after they already have Rejuvenation. It's a nice spell to drop on tanks in spare GCD's, or on raid members who have some kind of DoT who are likely to make use of the healing. For advanced use of this spell, you can restack it right before it expires, only letting it bloom on the third stack. There's rarely a reason to roll it once it's stacked to 3, as it quickly becomes very expensive due to the mana refund mechanic (it is a very cheap spell otherwise). It can be worth keeping in mind that Lifebloom interacts very nicely with Omen of Clarity--a Clearcast Lifebloom will still refund mana, giving you the spell and the mana for free.
Swiftmend: A strong instant heal on a short cooldown. One of our best spells. Always be vigilant for people at low HP on whom you might use this. It's great for helping stabilize a tank anytime you see them sit low for more than a GCD, or making sure any raid member is safe while your HoT's do their work. You can swiftmend another Druid's HoT's; if you're using the Glyph this doesn't interfere with them at all. Swiftmend will always work off of the lowest-duration Rejuvenation or Regrowth on the target. A Swiftmend off of Rejuvenation is stronger. Swiftmend uses your spellpower and talents at the time you cast it, but will be smaller if uses a downranked Rejuv.
Healing Touch: Very limited use. Combined with Nature's Swiftness, it provides an emergency instant heal, but this is barely stronger than Swiftmend. You'll usually use it with Swiftmend when you need two consecutive instant heals on someone, or when you need an instant heal on someone without a Swiftmendable HoT (example, someone who was just Rebirthed). Macro for this:
/showtooltip Nature's Swiftness /stopcasting /use Nature's Swiftness /use [@mouseover] Healing Touch(You can replace the @mouseover with whatever target you like). Note that this will cast both spells at once if you're still, but you'll need to press the macro twice if you're moving.
The only other use of this spell with and Naturalist to provide a heal with a very short cast time. Due to the 1 second GCD minimum, however, and the fact that Nourish has a 1 second cast time in typical current gear, this is rarely of much benefit. It's a gimmicky setup for when you need as fast a heal as possible to respond to some boss ability (and for some reason Swiftmend isn't a viable option).
Tranquility: This spell is unfortunately rather weak for the length of its cooldown. The issue is that channeling it for 8 seconds means you're not putting up your HoT's for those 8 seconds, so after the channel ends, you have no HoT's up and your problems may well have gotten worse. It's a desperate measure, used for trying to stave off a wipe for a few more seconds while finishing off a boss.
Rebirth: Our most unique contribution to the raid. The only important issue is to avoid wasting it. First, make sure to coordinate with other Druids in your raid using macros or Vent so two of you don't cast on the same target. Second, people love to accept the resurrection as soon as it appears and die to something immediately. It can be good to warn them if it's a bad time to accept. Here's a macro that casts Revive instead of Rebirth if you're out of combat, and also alerts your raid if Rebirth is used:
#showtooltip /use [nocombat] Revive /stopmacro [nocombat] /use Rebirth /ra Rebirth on %t
Innervate: Unglyphed, this returns 2.25 * 3496 = 7866 mana to the target.
Abolish Poison/Remove Curse: Nothing fancy to say about these. Remember that Remove Curse won't allow you cast it on a target without a cleansable debuff, but Abolish Poison will.
Tree of Life Form: This macro will instantaneously unshift and reshift you into form, breaking all roots and snares on you (taking one GCD):
/use !Tree of Life
Barkskin: Remember that this doesn't use the GCD, so you can cast it almost anytime without disrupting your healing. It should be on an easily-accessible bind, and you should make it second nature to hit this instantly when you foresee a threatening amount of damage coming.
I'm not going to say too much about UI; it's largely a personal issue. The only major point specific to Resto Druids is that we're the only class that can move almost continuously while casting our normal spells. You want to have a control setup that allows you to be proficient at moving and casting independently--good Druids get very comfortable doing this. But it's a matter of practice more than anything else.
You need some kind of raid frames. Grid, Vuhdo, Healbot, and Shadowed are all in use currently. You can find all of them at typical addon sites. Choosing between them is up to you. Whichever you use, you want to have it set up to show you at least the following:
- Each raid member's HP (including pets)
- Which of your HoT's are on which targets
- Their durations
- Which raid members are in range
- Which targets are Swiftmendable
- Debuffs you can remove (Curses/Poisons)
- Customizable debuffs for important boss abilities
- Which players are being targeted by mobs
- Which players have incoming heals from other healers
- Notifications for when a player is resurrected, offline, or has the Spirit of Redemption buff (all important to make sure you use Rebirths wisely).
Clique: If your raid frames don't inherently support click-casting (Grid, for example), this is a simple, popular mod for setting it up.
Quartz: as a primary caster, you should have a proper cast bar. This is an excellent one. One Resto-specific tip is that since we use instants so much, you want to put the GCD spark somewhere prominent. I keep mine right next to Grid.
TreeCalcs is my Resto theorycraft spreadsheet, attached to this post. It will show you exactly how much various stats/talents/glyphs affect your current setup, and lets you experiment with different spell combinations. Compared to a DPS class, you're not going to be leaning as heavily on a spreadsheet to make gear choices, but it's useful to have a concrete, accurate numerical sense of how much each stat affects your various spells.
1)Input your stats and setup on the front page. In the three columns that go with each stat or buff, the first (left-most) is the one you edit, either by inputting a number or selecting an option from a dropdown menu. For spellpower/crit/haste/spirit/int, input the unbuffed value that appears on your character sheet or the Armory in your current gear. For MP5, add the total bonus MP5 from your gear only and type that in.
2) The main output is the green box at the bottom--the total raw healing output with your selected setup and spell rotation.
3) For more detailed information, look at the second and third columns mentioned above for each individual stat (the ones labelled "HPS" and "MP5"). These show the HPS/MP5 benefits derived from those particular stats/talents. For stats, it shows the benefit of having 1 more of that stat. For talents and other bonuses, it shows a) if you have no points in the talent, the value you would gain from one point, if you have points, the value you currently gain from those points (i.e. the amount you would lose by dropping them).
4) Since healing, unlike DPS, isn't quite as focused on the singular output from one rotation of spells, you often want to see how individual spells are affected by your stats. The second page lists all spells, the HPS/MP5 of each, and the amount which that HPS/HPM of each would increase from added points of spellpower/haste/crit. The top box on this page will also contain a bit more info on spellcasting cycles once I come up with them (ignore the leftover Moonkin stuff for the moment).
I've uploaded a second copy of the sheet without the tables. This will work in OpenOffice (and will run much faster generally), and everything will work besides the scaling factors. Might not do this every time, but will try to occasionally until I find a better solution.