HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Tree of Life, Tranquility & Cataclysm

Ancient Protection in Darnassus

How about this for the new Tree of Life artwork?

So I’ve calmed down a little bit since first reading that Blizzard intends to remove Tree of Life as a Druid shapeshift form. But a glimmer of hope still remains – there’s a small chance that the new version of Tree of Life might be even cooler than being a tree 100% of the time (ok, a very, very small hope glimmer).

Maybe Blizzard will manage to implement it in a totally cool and wonderful way that will make turning into a tree even more special than it is now. Perhaps there are ways to lose permanent Tree of Life form without totally sacrificing our identity as Restoration Druids.

I’m not the only one thinking about it either. As I was thinking about this topic Keeva, Beru and a veritable forest of trees have been writing on the same topic.

The Good

I’m not part of the Class Changes Department at Blizzard (or whatever it’s called) but I’ve come up with some ideas for the new Tree of Life. Pay attention Blizzard – here is some feedback from a Tree of Life devotee! The rules: must retain the essence of being a healer and a shapeshifting Druid.

By Chance

Tree of Life will be a visual effect – something to highlight a proc or event like Argent Defender or Eclipse. It would need to be tied to something that happens a lot during combat and something that’s not just a PVP or raid-only ability. Restoration Druids playing all different styles of gaming – PVP, Dungeons and Raids should get to experience the new Tree of Life.

A Bonus

When Tree of Life does kick in it needs to feel special and wonderful. In my mind I keep linking this to playing the Pokie Machines (I promise I’m not a gambler!). You know how exciting it feels when the machine starts ringing, the lights are flashing and the game screen pops up exclaiming: You’ve Won 10 Free Spins! Well that’s how Tree of Life should feel.

Perhaps even though the shapeshift is out of our control you’ll get a sudden increase in your healing output, haste or the like. How about the next five spells are guaranteed Critical Heals? I want the new Tree of Life form to feel exciting – like you’re winning a million 50 cent pieces at the Pokies. Whether it gives us extra healing, crit, haste I don’t care but I want it to feel special and FUN.

With Polish

The new improved art work for Tree of Life needs to be god damn awesome or as Barney Stinson would say…. LEGENDARY! I’ve been talking up for years the big cool trees hanging around Darnassus (see above). Perhaps we could shift into something more like that in Cataclysm?

Oh and Blizzard if you read this – I was very disappointed that you didn’t announce our new level 81 spell: “Tree Bash”

The Bad

The new Tree of Life will fail if Blizzard choose to implement it the way I’m expecting them to. And I’m putting it out there right now, if Blizzard choose to implement it like this, I’m switching my main in Cataclysm to either my Discipline Priest or my Mage. I’m that serious about it.

Tree of Life becomes a 5 minute cooldown spell that you, the Druid, choose to cast in anticipation of the “optimum” time to make best use of the buff/specialness it gives you.

If they do this, Tree of Life will simply be like Innervate – something you really love having but try not to ever rely on because, well it has a cooldown and you can’t trust it to be available just at that right moment. Before you know it the fights aren’t hard because you out-gear then by a couple of tiers and you never even consider clicking/press the button to activate it because, well why would you – you don’t need it.

If Blizzard do this then Tree of Life really deserves a funeral and a tombstone because it’s just a nice extra. It’s not really a defining part of what your class and spec is. Tree of Life has become no more than a glorified On Use trinket.

2006 – 2010

Tree of Life
(aka Wilted Broccoli)

Beloved Protector
Sadly Missed by the WoW Community

Tranquility and Cataclysm

Out of all the new spells released by the class previews, the one I’m most intrigued by is the Shaman level 83 spell – Healing Rain.

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

I can just envision its usefulness going off in the middle of Wintergrasp healing everyone of your faction within range. I can also see it being used to lightly top up not just 1 party in your 25 man raid team but your entireraid group.

I simply can’t believe that Blizzard would give this mechanic to just 1 type of healer in Cataclysm.

I’m taking a guess (read crossing my fingers and hoping) that Restoration Druids will have tranquility reworked into a similar style spell. A raid wide heal spell that has weaker throughput in exchange for hitting more targets? Yes please.

Useful for constant raid wide damage but the mana cost and heal throughput would obviously not as strong as current AOE healing spells Wild Growth and Circle of Healing which are limited to 5-6 raid members only.

A Bit of Marketing

I know that all these Class Previews have been released to drum up anticipation (and Sales) for Cataclysm. All the new abilities are meant to sound awesome and overpowered – that’s how they talk you into buying game copies! They won’t need to actually nerf everything down to scale until Patch 4.1 after all.

Let me just say that whoever is in charge of Shaman, Mage and Paladin marketing gets my thumbs up. Reading the class previews has definitely made me rethink what class I want to play in the next expansion. And considering that Paladins and Mages received a lot of attention and pats-on-the-back at the start of Wrath of the Lich King, too… well I think perhaps I might have more fun playing something else.

And whoever is in charge of Druid marketing? Not well done. Not well done at all. There’s still time. Read this article. Read what other die-hard Restoration Druid writers are blogging about and think carefully about how you approach Tree of Life.

12 Responses to “Tree of Life, Tranquility & Cataclysm”

  1. SpinksNo Gravatar says

    I always kind of hoped they’d redo tthe tree to look like the eonar’s gift trees with Freya in Ulduar.
    .-= Spinks’s last blog: Portraying relationships in games, or where did all the mothers go? =-.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      The elders are pretty cool but I don’t know how I would feel about laterns swinging off my head like Elder Ironbranch has! I think he has the same model as the 2 big trees in Zangaramarsh :)

  2. ShayzaniNo Gravatar says

    At this point they could make Resto druids amazingly overpowered in Cataclysm and trees would still be upset simply because of the terrible terrible way they’ve marketed these changes so far.

    “No you guys don’t get any new spells and we’ll be taking your existing ones away partially. Aren’t you guys excited!?”

    Somebody majorly dropped the ball on the presentation.
    .-= Shayzani’s last blog: Cataclysm DK Preview Thoughts =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I agree Shayzani, it’s nothing about balance or the Restoration Druids ability to heal in the expansion – it’s about how much you love your character and your abilities.

      They gave this information out poorly. And they should have given Restoration Druids something that they can get excited about at the same time.

  3. EuphratiNo Gravatar says

    Make it like shamans totems in usefulness? I don’t mean the Swiss army knife idea that is and probably should be theirs (although now I think about it give them a couple make one form emphasising haste, one crit and yeah this will never happen) but what I actually mean is it’s something you drop before/during a fight especially in response to certain events.

    A shaman can do without totems it’s true but they are still often used by every shaman I know even in HCs so it would stay seen in game if they really have to go down the cooldown triggered idea.

    Love the idea of Resto one arm bandits though as well XD. It would definitely keep it feeling special.

  4. ZahiaNo Gravatar says

    The first time I read about Healing Rain I though of it as an overpowered tranquility too. But in fact, it’s not. Tranquility range is wide, and I guess the Healing raid aoe will be very limited, something like in a 8 yards wide area (like most aoe dps spells at the moment). Shaman will only be able to maintain Healing Rain on melee dps most often. And I suppose the numbers will be way lower than Tranquility and look more like Wild Growth numbers depending on the targets in the area.

    Regarding Druid preview, I agree with you, there isn’t any exciting change announced for resto druid and that’s a bit sad for you. But I find the holy paladin preview even sadder. The healer that needed new spells the most only get transformed in a Healing-Stream totem that needs to be re-casted every 6 seconds, and one of their 5 healing spells spell become a 30 minute buff.
    .-= Zahia’s last blog: And the winner main for Cataclysm is… =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I agree Zahia – they’ll balance Healing Rain so that it’s not more effective than any other AOE heal out there. But I think the point is that it sounds OP. It sounds awesome. It’s gotten a lot of healers excited about Restoration Shamans in Cataclysm and it’s such a shame that nobody is excited about playing a Restoration Druid.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      At the moment healing rain is set at 30 yards, Tranquility is 100 yards so yes the range is better. I still think 30 yards, for specific situations will be awesome and because of diminishing returns, even if it does only hit your melee that just means they’ll get healed more.

      I’m stoked that Twitter Development Chat for druids is indicating that Tranquility is definitely going this way!

  5. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    Yeah, major fail on the part of the marketing people. Other classes got things to be excited about, Trees just got to feel “they are taking things away from us.” It’s not how you want a large group of people going into Cataclysm feeling. (Maybe my impression of there being a “large group” of resto druids is incorrect, but it seems like there are! And largely not happy, too!) I’m still not sure what I’ll play come Cataclysm. Mage/druid/paladin/shaman are the primary contenders. Healing rain did sound pretty neat. I’ll have to see how it plays out! I hope that they arrive at a solution that’s happier for the trees than just “Well guess what, you don’t get to be a tree anymore. Except sometimes.”
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog: Of Tanks and Healers =-.

  6. AvernaNo Gravatar says

    Tree bash?! YES PLZ! Damn, that would be awesome.

    I do like the idea of healing rain. I hope they do rework tranquility, because I NEVER use it. Ever. It’s just not useful in any way shape or form. In my opinion, hitting tranq will save 5 people and leave 3 others dead from the channeling we’re doing. It would be nice to have tranq be more of a starfall mechanic: cast it, and do other stuff while it runs. I know that may be super overpowered, but maybe they could reduce the healing it does or something like that. Anything to make me want to use it more.

    • DraniirnNo Gravatar says

      I think we’re forgetting one thing. Tranquility, no matter how it’s changed, is sure to still be a channel. Healing rain is a cast, meaning Shamans will be able to Healing Rain that large melee group and chain heal into them for 10 seconds before refreshing Healing Rain. With this model, it would appear to me that Shamans will absolutely dominate the group healing niche. Factoring in what is basically a healer wielding a tank cooldown with Spirit Link and they have the potential to far outpace druids.

      Also, I’m a resto druid at heart, but I do have a tank off-spec. I can’t help but feel like ALL of the druid abilites were simply afterthoughts. Without going into a ton of detail, why does my bear spec need a new aoe threat when aoe tanking is being discouraged in Cataclysm?

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lathere & Cassandri. Lathere & Cassandri said: New blog post: Tree of Life, Tranquility & Cataclysm Enjoy! [...]

  2. [...] it creeps me out a teeny bit when I write a post about how I personally envision things changing… and then I read a short paragraph from [...]

  3. [...] Well we still have the same Tree Form model for Tree of Life. So much for looking like one of the cool Argent Defender trees in Darnassus. [...]

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