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NOTE: This guide will be undergoing changes in the next few years to bring the calculations up-to-date with patch 2.4. All spirit-related calculations are outdated unless otherwise specifically indicated.
This guide was originally created by Dezzi of Twisting Nether (US) for the druids in his guild. After spending so much work on the guide, he decided to post it here so it could be available for everyone. This guide focuses less on technique (because skill and technique come best through experience), and more on mechanics, gear, and stats. The information in this guide is intended for level 70 raiding druids.
The calculations in this guide are based on the game mechanics of Patch 2.4
There are two cookie-cutter resto specs:
Pure PvE Tree Form
This is the basics for PvE tree raiding. Of course this spec can be altered by removing Nature's Splendor and Nature's Majesty to instead use 3 points in Replenish. This will drop the healing of a Druid but to slightly help increase raid DPS. The Major Glyphs used should be used and the minor glyphs will help. (Except for Aquatic Form, just my preference since there's nothing else.)
PvP Tree Form
You could also swap 3 points from Nature's Focus into Subtlety if you prefer. This is an acceptable raid build since you really don’t lose anything except 15% spirit and a few points in Subtlety. Now that is a lot of spirit, but it's understandable if you spec this way since now you can PvP/Arena and raid without shelling out 100g a week. The loss of the spirit talent may affect your trinket choice, but we'll discuss this more later. The regen you lose from the extra spirit can be made up for with a few extra mana pots.
Dreamstate Healing Touch Spec
Some druids used a Dreamstate/Resto spec for specialized roles in BC. While it remains a strong solo spec with a hybrid of healing and dps ability, that same hybridization makes it too weak for any specific role in end game PVE play. Dreamstate/Resto is not recommended at this time.
Spirit vs. Mana/5
While not in the FSR (while not casting):
- 4.5 Spirit = 1 mana per tick (every 2 sec)
- 2.5 Mp5 = 1 mana per tick
- 1.8 Spirit = 1 Mp5
However, while in the FSR:
- 15 Spirit = 1 mana per tick
- 2.5 Mp5 = 1 mana per tick
- 6 Spirit = 1 Mp5
Raid buffed you're going to have a Blessing of Kings, and spirit will stack with this, mp5 wont. Also remember that the Living Spirit talent (+15% spirit) will stack with Blessing of Kings. These two buffs will affect the mp5 to spirit conversion:
|Conditions|| Spirit (on a piece of gear)|
Equivalent to 1 Mp5
|In FSR, with Kings||5.45|
|In FSR, with Kings, with +15% Spirit||4.74|
Innervate and You
Prior to patch 3.1.2, Innervate restored an amount of mana based on the target's spirit. Now it reads: Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 225% of the casting Druid's base mana pool over 10 sec. Assuming a level 80 druid casts the spell, it will always restore 7866 mana.
Now, the target of an innervate should always be the raid or party member that will best benefit the group by gaining extra mana. Obviously it will be wasted on a prot pally or an enhancement shaman, but it can freely be used on any healer or caster dps as the group needs.
- Innervate early on very long endurance fights - Magtheridon and A'lar. About a minute into the fight, innervate someone who is at like 50-60% mana. You'll probably waste a few innervate ticks, but you'll also get your Innervate back a second time towards the end of the fight.
Maximizing Your Raid Healing (How To Beat Shamans)
So, you want to know how to beat shamans on the healing meters? Well sorry to burst your bubble, but it's nearly impossible at the moment.
But here's the thing folks, healing meters are NOT the most important thing when it comes to raid healing. If you can keep people alive long enough to down a boss, then you've done your job. So why do we look at healing meters? Because meters are an indication of how WELL you're doing your job. If another druid with comparable gear is putting out 30% more healing than you, then you're not maximizing your healing potential... that is, you're not doing your job as well as it COULD be done.
So how do you maximize your healing potential?
The Golden Rule of Tree Form Healing
Spend every moment of every boss fight throwing HoTs or casting Regrowth. Every second you're not in the global cooldown is a second too long. If your tank is the only one taking any damage, keep all 3 HoTs on him (LB, Rejuv, Regrowth HoT) and then escape-heal with regrowth.
If your mana pool doesn't allow you to continuously throw HoTs and Regrowths every second of a boss fight, then you don't have enough regen or you didn't bring enough pots. It is better to have a little less +healing, but be able to heal every second of every boss fight.
Generic HoT Cycles
Now, here's some basic HoT cycles I like to use (depending on the situation). I have to give credit to Gian from elistjerks.com who helped me improve my game by showing me some effective HoT Cycles. This is all situational, there is no "cookie-cutter" rotation that will work for everything. Your skill as a healer is your ability to adapt and adjust quickly to changing situations... but these are some general rules:
High-Damage Boss Fights (Single Tank)
On certain "high-octane" boss fights (like Bear in ZA, or Phase 2 Prince in Kara) you'll want to be focusing your entire attention on the tank. Keep every HoT you can on them... LB stacks, Rejuv, and the Regrowth HoT and then have your finger hovering over the Swiftmend Button. You should also be "escape-healing" with Regrowth. This means you let a Regrowth charge up, and then hit ESCAPE right before it goes off IF the tank doesn't need the heal. This way if the tank gets hit with a huge amount of burst damage your heal is already on its way. Keep in mind that the FSR doesn't start until a cast has actually finished, by escape-healing keeps you out of the FSR and saves mana.
Raid Spot Healing (1 MT) - 6 second cycle
If you're assigned to spot heal, then you STILL want to keep an LB triple stack up on the tank at all times (this is just too much healing to ignore). There are exceptions (times when you just have to spend all your time healing the raid), but mostly you want to use a rotation like this:
- LB on Main Tank
- Rejuv/LB on raid target (LB if ~2400 health or less, Rejuv if ~3000 health or more)
- Rejuv/LB on raid target
- Rejuv/LB on raid target
- --- New Cycle ---
- LB on Main Tank
2 Main Tanks
With two main tanks you should easily be able to keep LB stacks and Rejuv on both of them for the duration of the fight (and have some in-between time to raid heal if you so choose). Here's a cookie-cutter rotation:
LB Tank 1, LB Tank 2, Rejuv Tank 1, (downtime), LB Tank 1, LB Tank 2, Rejuv Tank 2, (downtime), etc...
3 Main Tanks
If you have a perfect connection, you should be able to keep LB on all 3 tanks, and Rejuv on 2 of them. Here's how you do it:
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, Rejuv 1, LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, Rejuv 2, repeat
With a less-than-perfect connection, you can still keep LB triple-stacks on all three tanks without any trouble.
4 Main Tanks
Keep LB stacks on all 4 tanks (if your latency is good enough).
Macros can really help out in boss fights where you have to heal multiple tanks during certain phases (Hydross and Kael come to mind). An interesting idea is to use targeting macros on hotkeys F1-F4 for those phases. A macro like this works well:
/target TankName /cast [modifier:shift] Rejuvenation ; Lifebloom
If you hold shift while pressing this hotkey, you will cast Rejuv, otherwise you will cast LB. Be sure to test that this macro works before you try to use it in raids. For example, if you bind this macro to F1, you also need to make sure that Shift+F1 is not bound to anything else (otherwise the modifier won't work).
Once again, if find that your mana pool doesn't allow you to continuously throw HoTs every second of a boss fight, then you're only gimping yourself in terms of your maximum healing capabilities. You need more regen gear (or you need to spend more money on pots).
How Latency Affects Maximum Healing Potential
Latency plays a huge role in determining how effectively you can heal and what your maximum healing potential is. Consider this, if you are spamming heals with a 1.5 sec cast time, then you could potentially make 40 heals per minute. However, add in 100 ms of latency, and suddenly your cast time becomes 1.6 sec. In this case, you can only cast 37 times a minute.
Now this may not seem like a huge difference but look at it this way. With 300 ms (therefore a 1.8 average cast time), you could cast 33 times in 1 minute, which means that you could have suffered a 17.5% loss in your maximum healing potential. The subtleties of latency are intricate and so perhaps I am overstating the facts a bit, but any way you run the numbers you are still gimped in your healing ability depending on your latency.
Take another example. If 300 ms translates into 0.3 sec of extra cast time, then there would be no way I could keep LB stacks on 4 targets at once.
1.5 x 4 = 6.0 sec
1.6 x 4 = 6.4 sec
1.7 x 4 = 6.8 sec
1.8 x 4 = 7.2 sec
Each cycle now exceeds 7 sec (the time of LB) and therefore keeping 4 stacks on 4 targets would now prove impossible. That being said, it’s probably possible to make a 4-target cycle work with latency over 300 ms just because of the intricacies of latency (which I don’t understand thoroughly enough to give comment or direction). But for our purposes, we’re going to assume that 300 ms of latency translates into 0.3 extra seconds of cast time.
How This Information Affects Trinket Selection
The main thing I want to use this information for, is to discuss the way certain trinkets proc if they have a standard chance per cast to proc. For example, if a trinket has a proc rate of 2% per cast, then we assume that it will proc once every 50 casts. With absolutely no latency, this translates into 1 proc every 75 seconds (50 x 1.5 = 75). However, with 300 ms of latency, this changes the proc rate significantly to (potentially) 1 proc every 90 seconds (50 x 1.8 = 90). This can significantly change the value of that particular trinket, so when choosing which trinkets are right for you, please be conscious of your average latency, and how it will affect that trinket's performance.
General Gear Recommendations
I'm not gonna list every last piece of gear that you could possibly get and rate it to tell you how good it is. Because, in reality, you should be looking more at your total stats than each individual piece of gear. These are just general pieces of advice:
General Rules of Tree Gear
- Regen is the arguably most important stat for you to work on first. It will serve you better in both high-octane fights and endurance fights (in the situations where healers get strained). Regen saves you money on mana pots on farm-status bosses, and will serve you better on new content (because you can afford to heal more aggressively). This doesn't mean you should completely ignore other stats, it just means you should work on getting a high Regen FIRST (and then you can min/max other stats). If you have sufficient regen to heal every second of every boss fight, then by all means start stacking +healing. +Healing is your power, regen is your endurance. After you have enough endurance, then you can start adding more power... but endurance is that baseline you want to start on first. In reality you will want two gear sets: one which focuses on regen for long engagements and one which focuses on +healing. My advice for every new druid is focus on their regen sets first, and then you can start to swap out +healing pieces.
- Haste rating needs to be mentioned here for level 80 healing. It is very important to the soft cap.
- +Healing is the second most important stat for you. Some people could argue that +healing is MORE important, but it depends on your role in your guild and your progression level. With the addition of so many free pots and so much free gold, chain chugging pots isn't an issue any more. Once you have enough regen/potions to maintain your mana pool then by all means start stacking the +healing. I still say you should focus on a regen set FIRST and then take care of +healing. The last thing you want is to go OOM halfway through pot timers, and too many healers neglect regen completely. Don't be one of them.
- Mp5 is generally preferable to spirit. I discussed this point ad nauseam already... but know your conversions (2.83 Spirit per Mp5 or 2.46 Spirit per Mp5) and develop a plan that gives you a good chunk of both. You should pretty much spend all your time in the FSR, and as such Mp5 is usually better than Spirit. Once again, though, know your conversions!
- Every druid should have three weapons with different enchants. See the Enchants section below for a more detailed explanation of why you want to do this:
- Cloth gear is sometimes better for you than leather gear... remember to consider cloth gear when searching for upgrades.
- Healing Touch = 100%
- Rejuvenate = 80%
- Regrowth Direct Heal = ~30%
- Regrowth HoT = 70%
- Lifebloom HoT = 51.8%
- Lifebloom Final Heal = 34.29%
- Tranquility = 73%
How do talents like "Empowered Rejuvenation" Affect Coefficients?
The Empowered Rejuvenation talent reads: Increases the bonus healing of your heal over time effects by 20%
What this means is that for all HoT effects, you take your current +healing and add 20%. So if you had 1000 +healing, your HoTs would act as though you had 1200 +healing.
Gift of Nature increases the effect of all healing spells by 10%. Does this stack with +healing?
For example, if your healing touch would normally heal for 2800, and you had a 1000 +healing, then here's what this talent would do for you:
(2800 + 1000) x 110% = 4180
With Empowered Touch (+20% Bonus Healing on Healing Touch) and Gift of Nature, here's how the math works out:
[2800 + (1000 x 120%)] x 110% = (2800 + 1200) x 110% = 4400
These are the best gems for a resto druid at the moment (using patch 2.3 mechanics). I am not including Black Temple gems because I figure if you're at that point in your game, you know enough to make decisions for yourself.
Remember, heroic gems will not be unique-equip in 2.4, so stock up!
Updated with WotLK gems on 19-05-2009.
If you already have tons of regen you could skip regen completely and go for straight +healing gems. I prefer gems that give +healing and regen to straight +healing gems, but there's no award at the end of a fight for how much mana you have left. If you have enough regen, then these are viable options:
(WotLK)- rare find inside Daily Fishing quest reward,
These gems add purely intellect and primarily increase your mana pool. Intellect also increases spell critical strike and as of patch 2.4, increases Spirit regen as well.
(WotLK) - rare find inside Daily Fishing quest reward,
Gems for Spirit. Generally useless, as you should be going for MP5 rather than Spirit.
These prismatic gems require you to have Jewelcrafting as a profession and have at least 350 skill points in the profession. You can only equip gear with a total of three of these gems at any one time, but you can have more of them socketed on gear in your inventory.
Requires 2 Gems of Each Color
This is the best meta gem for a ToL druid... period. Has a 2% chance on spellcast to restore 300 mana. If you're spamming instacasts (which you should be) that's the equivalent of 20 mp5. Although, in reality, it will be a little less than this, that's still a LOT of regen.
Requires More Red Gems than Blue Gems
There are only two reasons to take this gem over the Insightful Earthstorm Diamond: you already have plenty of regen, or you can't meet the gem requirements to get the other gem. Otherwise I would definitely take the regen... just because it's much easier to replace +26 healing than it is to replace 20 mp5.
I didn't list Glyphs/Inscriptions/Leg Enchants here because those should just be obvious...
Chest: , or
Major Spirit gives you more regen only if you have the +15% spirit talent and kings. Otherwise Restore Mana Prime is better for regen.
Cloak: , or
Shadow resist can be useful in raids situationally, but it gives a small chance to resist fears (a small chance, but a chance none-the-less). Subtlety is better in 5-mans, but SR is the enchant used by a lot of high-end raiders (because an amazing number of debuffs are shadow based... and because they're in BT).
Wrist: , or
This is one of the few times I'll say to take Healing in place of Mp5. It's just because 30 healing is a LOT of healing when compared to 6 mp5. Take whichever you need more of.
Every good druid will have three weapons that they swap between while healing:
- A primary weapon (your best weapon) with
- A secondary weapon with
- A spirit weapon with for use while Innervating. (This is no longer true, spirit does not affect Innervate)
Let me explain:
You see Spellsurge gives you (and your group) a lot of regen, and currently it has a fairly high chance to proc. However, Spellsurge also has a hidden cooldown (it's 45 or 50 sec) during which it cannot proc again. So what you want to do is swap your weapons. Start with Spellsurge, as soon as it procs switch to your 81 Healing weapon, and then switch back to spellsurge after 45 seconds have passed. With this rotation you will spend about 45 sec every minute with your primary weapon, and about 10-15 sec with your spellsurge weapon; thus, you want your best weapon to have the 81 healing enchant.
There is a mod called CasterWeaponSwapper that will swap for you automatically:
Because this mod is so buggy, I've written a guide on how to use it (with a link to the latest version) here: How to use CasterWeaponSwapper.