Wednesday 14 July 2010

Resto in the Seventies

No, this post isn't about bad hair and bell-bottoms (although Druids are pretty good at flower-power).

The new Cataclysm Beta build today brought with it the new 31-point talent trees, and they've already been posted up on MMO-Champion *Caution - Spoilers*. Since I'm not involved in Beta testing, I'm going to leave it to the experts like Lissanna at Restokin - check out her comprehensive coverage of the Beta changes, if you like spoilers.

But back to the live game.  There are likely to be at least two months before Cataclysm is released - probably more. In that time, there will be new or long-neglected alts being played, including Druids.

I know this because I recently received an email from a Druid called Avawynn:
I am now a level 71 Night Elf Druid with duel spec, Feral/Restro. I haven't played in a few months and now that I am back I feel lost?? I want to get back into the mode of healer, but I can't remember what is efficient and how I should go about healing again in dungeons. I have my tree of life form and I have my restoration spec filled out with all the necessary talents. Please help me :) I need my confidence restored. 
I have already replied to Avawynn (I love getting emails!) but I figure that during this lull before Cataclysm, there are some new Druid healers coming up through the seventies who might find a primer useful. So here we go.

Let's start with the basics. I'll assume that you either have Restoration as your main spec, or you have dual specs of which one is Resto, like Avawynn.

Your talent tree at level 70 might look something like this: 10/0/51 or it might look slightly different - either way I'll assume you have enough points in Restoration to take Tree of Life and Wild Growth or are very close to it.

Another option is if you are using the Glyph of Healing Touch to give yourself a fast heal before you learn Nourish at level 80. You could re-distribute the points to boost Healing Touch like this: 10/0/51.

At level 70 we have two major glyph slots available. The most useful glyphs for Resto at this stage are most likely [Glyph of Swiftmend] and [Glyph of Regrowth], unless you are boosting Healing Touch as mentioned above - then the Regrowth glyph can be replaced with [Glyph of Healing Touch].

In the early 70s healing can be difficult. You may get tanks who don't have all their tanking abilities yet, and who are possibly new to tanking. This means you are more likely to get damage all around the party as dps pull aggro or extra mobs that the tank isn't ready for.

Generally speaking:
  • Keep Rejuvenation on the tank at all times. Don't clip the last tick.
  • Top up with Regrowth when required
  • Swiftmend if you need a big boost on a HoT-ed target
  • Wild Growth if the whole party is taking damage. Wild Growth can be tricky if your party is spread out a lot - see if you can work out who to cast it on so that it hits as many people as it can in its radius of 15 yards. 
  • Remember to heal yourself too!

At level 80, you will learn Nourish, which is our "flash-heal" spell. As I mentioned already, before level 80 you could try using Healing Touch with the Glyph of Healing Touch, which drops the cast speed and mana cost. This makes it a faster heal than Regrowth, but you don't get the HoT component. At level 80 the Glyph would be replaced by something else and you would start using Nourish as your "flash heal" type spell instead.

I personally don't use Lifebloom at all these days, except in very situational encounters - I think Rejuvenation is a more mana-efficient HoT to be using, even with the mana return.  Other druids may disagree, so make sure you experiment with different things to see what works best for you.

I think the best advice I could give is: Don't Panic!  Tranquility makes a great panic button, but it will eat your mana so use it sparingly.

Don't forget to Innervate yourself before you actually run out of mana if you can.

As you quest and dungeon your way to level 80, try to pick up Spellpower/Haste gear rather than Spellpower/Crit gear if you can. Generally the more haste you have, the more heals you can get out there. There's nothing to stop you wearing cloth gear in your healing set :)

I'm planning another post containing a guide to some of the dungeon and quest gear that's available along the way.

Healing in stressful situations is so much easier if you have raidframes + clickbind addons. Some suggestions are:

In Conclusion
If you're reading blogs then there's a good chance you're most of the way towards being a great healer :) Just relax, keep the tank and yourself alive and you've done your job. Practice makes perfect so keep healing! You can give yourself a branchy pat on the back of your trunk now :)

Further Reading

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