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Wild Growth Nerfed in 4.3 PTR

September 28, 2011
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I sort of wonder if I should have gone to sleep last night.  The notes for the PTR for 4.3 were released early in the evening, and by this morning, MMO-Champion has datamined just a ton of stuff – including the Dungeon Journals for all of the new 5 man dungeons and the Dragon Soul raid.  Don’t head over to the website if you don’t want to spoil anything – consider yourself warned.

The only resto change up at the moment is a nerf to Wild Growth, both in the form of a flat out reduction to its healing and a change to the way its glyph functions:

  • Wild Growth healing has been reduced by 20%.
  • Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.
Wild Growth heals too much.  Fine.  Wild Growth is “set it and forget it” healing that requires basically no effort and no brainpower to use.  Fine.  It was buffed by 30% and given an 8 second cooldown in patch 4.0.6 because our raid heals were seen as too weak at the time, so this change is going effectively going to reverse that.  Fine.  I don’t understand the reasoning, since (prior to the Firelands nerfs) druids really weren’t spamming Rejuv and Wild Growth and forgetting all our other spells.  I felt like our toolkit was well-rounded and generally in a good place aside from (perhaps) not having to worry about mana management as much as we probably should.  But since Tranquility now has a 3 minute cooldown and Efflorescence has been redesigned to be much more effective in the time since 4.0 launched, I’m not too terribly worried that this is going to cripple our group healing.

The nerf to Wild Growth isn’t what irks me.  This post by Ghostcrawler is:

“We’re okay with Resto druids using Wild Growth frequently, but we think we allowed it to become too powerful given its ease of use. As I suggested above, this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall. The change to the Glyph of Wild Growth has positive and negative elements. We heard from druids that they felt like they didn’t have as many major glyph choices as intended, since the Glyph of Wild Growth was such a no-brainer for raiding druids — it increased the number of Wild Growth targets with no downside. We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside. With the AE heals, we thought the downside might be that the healers may not be using their AE heals necessarily, but having seen two raid tiers of content now, we’re confident that the glyphs did not have as much of a downside. (We changed the Glyphs of Circle of Healing and Light of Dawn for similar reasons).”

Major glyphs need to have a downside, so all the healing classes who didn’t already have downsides to their major glyphs got one.  I understand that, and I recognize that it wasn’t fair for shaman to be the only class who had a major healing glyph that had both negative and positive implications.  But let’s call this decision what it is:  a nerf.  Even with the change to Wild Growth, there will be no choice as to whether resto druids will take it – we WILL take it.  We have no other options.  Rebirth is standard, and that leaves Healing Touch, Innervate, and Wild Growth as the only other resto-centered glyphs we can choose from.  Innervate was nerfed to the ground patches ago, so no one takes it anymore because it’s worthless for us.  The idea that this change is going to give us a chance to make some kind of meaningful choice about our glyphs is just insincere.

Beyond this, the comment “this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall” is extremely worrying.  The majority of the druid community warned, when we were given Tranquility as our 3 minute cooldown, that this would greatly inflate our healing numbers.  A 3 minute Tranquility was the “raid wide cooldown” we were promised that was supposed to be comparable to shaman getting Spirit Link Totem.  Because Blizzard, for whatever reasons, seems to be unwilling to give us a true damage-mitigation or absorption cooldown, we have become throughput monsters.  The only option a druid healer has in dealing with damage is to throw more healing at it.  I don’t care that we have to hear other healing classes who don’t necessarily understand our mechanics complaining that our HPS numbers are too high.  I DO care that the developers who created this problem seem to have developed short-term memory loss in regards to their involvement in it.  Druid throughput does not need to be nerfed because it is the thing that is keeping us competitive.

That’s enough ranting for me before I’ve even had my coffee this morning.  Jasyla and Hamlet also have some excellent responses to this change if you’re looking for additional reading on the subject.  Happy PTR day to you all, and cross your fingers that the Wild Growth nerf is the only one we see.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 8:30 am

    My response to the changes was much briefer that yours, but I was having similar thoughts. Ultimately we need our throughput to remain competitive, if they start nerfing aspects of that because it is perceived as too powerful, where does that leave us?

    We are more raid healers than tank healers anyway, they are nerfing the staple AoE spell of druids, is this a sign of things to come? Are we too expect similar nerfs to other spells as well (please don’t touch tranq or eff), if they do continue to nerf our high throughput then it needs balancing with mitigation or similar otherwise we end slipping behind the other healers in usefulness and desirability.

    • September 28, 2011 8:35 am

      Exactly. Druid healers already have nearly zero raid buffs that we bring to the table – Mark, which Kings can replace, and Replenishment, which is provided by many other specs. We don’t bring the utility that a Shaman, Priest, or Paladin does, but what we do bring is an ability to HEAL ALL THE THINGS.

  2. Bocore permalink
    September 29, 2011 4:02 am

    I have to change my WG glyph if i run dungeons and have to change it back for raiding, all the time?
    Because for 5mans this is not just useless but, disadvantage.

  3. Aduj permalink
    October 15, 2011 1:01 pm

    Now that we are being nerfed to the point of extinction, I think my druid will be benched in favor of the priests, or the pallies in our guild. I’m very sad, not only do we have very crappy direct heals, but now we will have virtually no raid healing (which is the whole point of having a druid now-a-days anyway), we will have no useful buffs to provide, no vending machine (ie mage biscuits), and now that dks have brez whats the point in having a druid in the raid? I’m disappointed with blizz. Nerf us, fine… but buff raid heals on other classes while bring us down is going to kill the druid.

    If you take away our raid heals, maybe bump up our direct heals? Or give us something else to work with here. I think I’ll rename my druid… “RGspamFTW” or “Eatmynerf” <– one very disgruntled drood here.

  4. October 19, 2011 7:22 am

    The nerf truly sucks..

  5. December 5, 2011 12:08 pm

    Did u see that wild growth in combat don’t place hot on people if they are at 100% health? I used to spam it on trinket/power torrent proc, but in this patch sometimes i click it and no hot appear on players… do you think it is a bug? Couse it realy sucks

    • December 6, 2011 10:52 am

      I haven’t experienced anything like this so far. From what I’m seeing on my healing bars, my Wild Growth is still applying to targets with 100% health. If you’re using a healing add-on, is it possible that it’s not up to date and isn’t displaying this correctly? Other than that, I’m not sure what could cause this.

  6. Skry permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:18 pm

    Okay, what I honestly don’t understand is how they can nerf wild growth and then make pally’s have an holy radiance with no cooldown, usable from a range, heal basically as much, be usable on multiple targets and give holy power. I have played both a druid and a pally healer, and I love my druid, but seeing a pally double my healing output and have holy radiance be 60-70% of their healing is just stupid. And on top of that they get light of dawn right after they use HR on three targets…. So let me get this right, WG is OP because it has an 8 second cooldown and hits 5-6 (8 in ToL) and does maybe 2000 healing per tick… that’s it, flat out heal, and yes you can argue we don’t have to think about an instant cast, but it seems we are the only healers to get a raid healing nerf and all the other healers got buffs (CoH, chain cast chain heal, holy radiance). In my opinion Blizz is gonna nerf us into extinction, I can’t compete with 50k hps from hpallies, I just can’t. And they argue it is only when the raid is grouped to which I say “WHEN IN DRAGON SOUL ARE YOU NOT GROUPED!!!”

  7. Moustgaard permalink
    April 3, 2012 3:05 pm

    FU Blizzard… I used to love healing… Druid, Priest, Shaman but with the new “play style” and nerfs all arround I have specced out of all my healing speccs… Hell I even have two shadow priest speccs… No wonder when Queing for dungs. its hard to find a healer 😮

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