The Moonglow Experiment: Day 1
After actually glyphing my second spec so that I could actually use it effectively in a raid environment (/facepalm!), I finally got a chance to take the Moonglow spec for a spin last night.
I broke it in on the initial trash in Bastion of Twilight and tried to get used to using my first Clearcasting proc to cast a Regrowth and activate Nature’s Grace. I did a little better than I’d predicted about remembering this, though I can’t quite find a way to track the cooldown. Currently, I’m just guessing when a minute has gone by and wasting Omen procs on Regrowths when I’d probably rather use them for either Swiftmend or Healing Touch.
I spent about half an hour after the raid last night trying to set up an MSBT trigger that would recognize NG’s internal cooldown, but no luck. I don’t normally use Power Auras on my druid, though I imagine I might have an easier time doing it with that add-on. If anyone out there has some good advice about how I can track this easily, I would hugely appreciate it.
The guild’s progression on 25 mans is still significantly behind where we are on 10 right now, so I had a handful of Halfus attempts to play with. In general, I found myself dipping below 75% mana later when I was using the Moonglow spec than when I swapped back to Furor. It seemed, though, that I was using my mana return CDs at roughly the same points during the fight and I didn’t feel as if I had a huge surplus of mana with one spec or the other. Moonglow used less mana at the beginning of the fight, but Furor’s larger mana pool meant they evened out in the long run. I eventually switched back into my normal Furor spec shortly before we finally downed Halfus. I did so because I noticed that my healing numbers (to the extent that Recount can be relied upon for these things) were actually suffering because I was spending too much time worrying about when I needed to hit a regrowth and proc Nature’s Grace. I was wasting Omen procs on Regrowth when they would have been better spent elsewhere. Obviously, that’s not any sort of indictment against the Moonglow spec – just a problem with me improving my own performance with a new mechanic.
After downing Halfus, the guild moved on to some progression attempts on Valiona and Theralion, and I switched back to Moonglow for those. While we weren’t making it very cleanly or consistently into phase 2 before we had to stop for the night, it seemed to me that I was already feeling a difference in my mana conservation. V&T has a ton of group damage flying around, and it’s damage that’s often significant enough to warrant a direct heal on top of a Rejuv or Wild Growth. Since that gave me a better reason to actually want to cast Regrowth, and a good way to use the 15% haste buff once NG proced, I began to see how the Moonglow spec might just be useful in this sort of fight. Unlike the early Blackwing Descent fights that are heavy on raid damage, V&T really never gives you a moment to breathe and regen mana – there’s always damage coming from one ability or another. Tonight we’ll have a second round of attempts on V&T, and I’m planning to try the fight with both specs.
My tentative observation is that Moonglow may end up being a better spec if you’re assigned to raid heals on a fight where you’re dealing with a lot of group damage. Part of my problem with using that spec on Halfus was that I’d been assigned to tank healing, so the NG procs were mostly being used for faster Healing Touch casts on my tank. That’s not a bad thing, but if the tank wasn’t in the danger zone and I wanted to spend a few GCDs helping on raid healing, then I’d do so using instant-cast spells. Yes, haste can still lower our GCD up to a minimum of 1 second, but since we can talent into Rejuv having a 1 second GCD, and Swiftmend and Wild Growth are not spammable, the increased haste isn’t really ideal for times when you’re casting instant spells.
Early guess? Moonglow spec for raid heailng and Furor for tank healing. I’m almost always assigned to a tank in any fights that require more than one, so the Furor spec has the early lead. We’ll see how things shape up during the second night with Valiona and Theralion.