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Back in the Rejuv Groove

January 20, 2011
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With the recent hotfixes to what was, in Wrath, our most dependable raid-healing spell, Rejuvenation is back in a big way:

Rejuvenation now consumes 16% of base mana, down from 26%, but still requires 26% of base mana in order to be cast. A patch will be required to address this discrepancy.

I felt the difference already the last two nights in my guild’s 25 man raids.  On Tuesday we fought Magmaw and Omnitron, and then moved on to Halfus on Wednesday – so I had the opportunity to really see how this would work on some fights with a lot of raid damage.  Numbers speak better than my warm and fuzzy feelings on the subject, so I’ll put up a few World of Logs entries to show you the difference.

Here’s my effective healing from an Omnitron kill on January 5:

And here’s my effective healing from the Omnitron kill on January 18:

You’ll notice off the bat that I did a lot less healing overall on the more recent kill, and the reason why is simple.  The kill on January 5th took over 10 minutes – the one on Tuesday took about 9.  Because of the unpredictable nature of the fight, and the amount of healing required being dependent upon which two constructs are active, some better luck with which constructs we got may have been a factor as well.

But look at Rejuv!  On the old kill, it accounted for 5.9% of my effective healing, and on Tuesday it shot up to 20.5%.    If you factor in the direct heal Rejuv has when modified by Gift of the Earthmother, it’s even more impressive.  The second listing for Rejuvenate on each of those lists is the direct heal that occurs when I first cast the spell on my target.

On January 5, my direct heal from Rejuv along with its HoT did 7.1% of my healing.  With the changes to its mana cost on Tuesday, the two parts of the spell did a combined 25.7% of my healing, which is actually equal to my top healing spell, Wild Growth.  The reason is clear from the charts.  I cast Rejuv 28 times on the first kill, as compared to 77 times on Tuesday night.  Rejuv essentially traded places with Healing Touch, which had 77 casts on January 5 and 25 casts January 18.  Obviously, I’d been preferring to use Healing Touch when I needed to top off raid members before because of Rejuv’s mana cost.  Now that the mana cost isn’t so prohibitive, I’ve been able to go back to using Rejuv when I see raid members getting low.

Why is this awesome?

(As if you need to ask!)  One of the most exciting parts about this change is that it gives druid healers a lot of our mobility back.  Not being saddled with Healing Touch’s talented cast time of 2 seconds means that we have a lot more freedom to move when we really need to move, but still heal that DPS who’s just stood in something silly.  This is incredibly helpful for fights like this week’s Halfus composition, where you’re constantly needing to be on the move.  I can’t wait to get a chance to experiment with this on Valiona/Theralion and Atramedes this week.

Are there any cons?

Two that are coming to mind.  First, by its nature as a HoT, Rejuv tends to have a much higher overhealing rate than Healing Touch does.  You can see this reflected in my overhealing numbers for the fights posted above.  I’m not really one to obsess about overhealing, as long as I’m not OOMing myself and unable to do my job.  Since that hasn’t been the case, I’m not terribly worried about this yet.

Second, and possibly a much bigger concern, is whether we’re returning to the Wild Growth / Rejuv spam that characterized our healing in Wrath.  It’s a little deceptive to look at my numbers above and see Wild Growth and Rejuv doing so much healing.  Note how many other spells I used that would have been completely unnecessary for healing nearly every encounter in ICC.  It’s also still just simply impossible to blanket a raid in Rejuvs the way you could in Wrath – the mana cost may be lower, but it’s not that low.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out as our gear continues to improve.  I sincerely hope that we’re able to maintain some of the fun new aspects that have made druid healing more challenging in Cataclysm, while also recovering the mobility that defined us as healers in Wrath.  After two nights of healing with the new Rejuv, I can say that it feels like the balance is right.

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