Well, the obvious druid development is new forms. And given that there is loads of mount-related news in today’s revelations, I have two theories.
A New Travel Form
Northrend is, apparently, huge. And it appears that we’re being offered new, swifter land mounts to help compensate us for the fact we can’t use flying mounts in the early part of the 70 to 80 levelling. At an early level we could see a
Swift Travel Form, to match the swifter land mounts. But could it also be one that allows us to carry passengers (which would be
awesome, frankly)? Passenger-carrying mounts keep cropping up in the news, and this seems like a great add to the Druid. Also, this new form might allow us to engage in "mounted"
combat. Which would be fab.
A New Flight Form
We’re seeing flight-based combat move from bombing runs to actual aerial combat in the expansion. And probably, just like in Burning Crusade, we’ll see that move from temporary mounts to ones we own at the level cap. So, perhaps at 80, maybe we’ll be on a quest for a new version of the flight
form that allows us to engage in combat in flight.
Swift Aquatic Form?
A bit of an outside this one, but given the size of Northrend, and the fact there’s a load of water in play, could the old Aquatic Form get a revamp, and maybe a new model, to give us an alternative rapid transit method around the map?
Whatever we get, I do hope they come with quests to get them. The Epic Flight Form quest was just so much fun, that it brought back happy low-level memories of getting Bear Form and Aquatic Form. C’mon, Blizz. Give us the quests to go with the forms…
Amanda from WoWInsider seems to be working hard on being Druids’ least favourite blogger, after her efforts in ignoring the Lifebloom nerf in favour of laughing at the warlock nerf on the podcast. Her latest post takes the slightly mouldy mana biscuit:
I’m pleasantly surprised at the minimal amount of crying that Druids are doing over the reduction of Cyclone’s range to twenty yards. Sure there have been complaints, but as a whole, the Druid community seems to have been pretty mature about the nerf.
Oh, right, so the campaign against the Lifebloom nerf was immature was it? It wasn’t a fact-and-numbers based campaign that proved our point and which, at this point, seems to have reversed the nerf? And even if that isn’t what she was implying, the sheer fact that the discussion was conducted in an adult, reasoned way should have suggested that druids are quite capable of being "pretty mature". Indeed, when the nerf was shifted from the "tick" to the "bloom", we all went "ah, good" and shut up.
I’m probably being over-irritable about this, and it’s possible here mindset was purely on Arenas when she wrote the post (just look at the tags), but really, if there’s one thing the debates about both the Warlock and Druid nerfs in the upcoming patch have taught us, it’s that you can’t apply changes to one area without very carefully thinking about the other. And, equally, perhaps WI bloggers should give just a little more thought about how their readers might be feeling before putting finger to keyboard…
Fantabulous news from the Patch Test Realm, as reported by Resto4Life.
It looks like the Lifebloom nerf has been switched from the tick part of the cast to the bloom part. That’s… astounding. It’s exactly what we’ve been asking for. It delivers a PvP nerf, while leaving a negligible effect on the PvE healing technique.
But there’s more.
The current build has a buff to Regrowth. For those who aren’t familiar with druid healing, Regrowth is the only spamable large heal available to us in Tree of Life form. Healing Touch is not castable without shifting out, and Swftmend (which turns a HoT into a large heal) is on a timer. Generally, Regrowth has been regarded as horribly mana inefficient, and the 20% reduction to its mana cost seen on the PTR would make a huge difference to its viability in Deep Resto PvE healing.
A word of caution: this is all provisional, as we’re still in the testing phase. But should Blizz go ahead with this, I’ll be providing a “Thank You for Listening” badge to replace the “Don’t Nerf Trees” one. Fingers (and branches (and roots)) crossed…
Cupboard-top dust catcher
Ladies, gentlemen and Warlocks, Mr Big Bear Butt Blogger has taken the Lifebloom nerf awareness campaign to the pallowed hortals of WoWInsider.
He’s done a lovely little round-up of the discussion around the web about the possible reasons behind the nerf – could it be about trying to force Trees into using the bloom portion of the heal in PvE? – as well as the campaign to bring our unhappiness, and the thinking behind it, to Blizz’s notice.
Here’s hoping we finally get some form of feedback from the Blues as to this issue!
Attractive ornamental headrest
Oh noes! Patch 2.4 brings us a Lifebloom nerf!
Now, my guildies tell me that it’s just an 8% reduction in the healing co-efficient. But I have no idea what that means. So I’m just going to justify my QQing by linking to people who do! (probably)
Bell tells it like it is, over what seems to be a PvP-orientated nerf, while Lifebloomer does the maths to prove that this is a bad idea for us PvE druids.
Woe, woe, woe is me. Woe, woe, woe is the tree!
Resto4Life has published a great run down of the current Druid changes forthcoming in Patch 2.3.
The major changes from my point of view are the addition of Remove and Abolish Poison to Tree of Life and the boost to Tranquility.
I’m less worried by the absence of Remove Curse than Phaelia is – de-cursing is available to more classes than the poison removal is, and I’m called on to shift out of tree for poisons far more than curses. And the boost to the big “get out of wipe free” card of Tranquility is just fabulous news.
Very happy with these tweaks.