Thursday, October 16, 2008

3.02 First Impressions: Druid & Priest

The last post focused on my main, an Enhancement Shaman. This time, some initial impressions of Patch 3.02 from my alts points of view: a Resto Druid and Shadow Priest.

Resto Druid
After a bit of agony that Insect Swarm is no longer reachable for Trees at level 70, I still took 11 points in Balance to get Nature's Splendor. As the tool tip states, it increases the duration of some over-time spells, most notably Lifebloom. (More on this later.) The rest went into Restoration, skipping the Healing Touch talents (which I may go back for later, since HT is now castable in Tree and I got a handy glyph that converts it to a nice Flash Heal-type spell).

I had a chance to test out the new build during an Onyxia run last night, which we easily 7-manned for fun and profit (and achievement). Our Paladin tank is rather uber, so he wasn't taking a ton of damage anyway, but I was able to keep him at full health rolling Lifebloom and Rejuvination exclusively.

Now getting back to Nature's Splendor: the 2 second increase combined with a few points in Gift of the Earthmother made it noticeably easier to roll HoTs on the tank and spot-heal the raid. (Before, it always seemed like I was under-the-gun, barely able to squeeze raid heals just before LB was about to bloom.) Of course, the real test will come later if I get to run Kara or ZA with this build, so TBD.

On the DPS front (sum treez are 4 fite?), my former DPS gear set is now looking like vendor fodder. Unbuffed, I'm just below 1k spell power, not too shabby. I'll have to run a daily or two on the isle to see what kind of numbers come back, but I have a feeling Resto DPS is not as awful as it used to be.

So the big news (besides finally getting a real rez zomg!), is the Night Elf racial Shadowmeld - which acts as a temporary aggro dump as long as you don't move and wait long enough for someone else (hopefully the tank) to grab your newfound friend's attention. Let me repeat teh awesomeness of this: NE Resto Druids now get a free racial Fade! Woot! No more Barkskin + pray or relying on a weaksauce trinket + "/y halpmeh!" macro.

I know some have complained about the normalization of tanking and healing specs, but I say phooey. Normalization just means more inclusion when determining party/raid line-ups. We should all be seeing more instances while playing the class/specs that we like, and this is absolutely a good thing. GG Blizz.

Shadow Priest
While the overall fate of my Spriest is still in question, as I admitted in guild chat last night, I may be only leveling him for the flying carpet. Heh. (Dinged 325 tailoring last night, and he's only 57.) Anyway, first impressions:

Mana efficiency is up, which is great. I used to end up with half mana after a mob fight (even though it recovered quickly with Spirit Tap) - and now, if I'm around 75% mana after a single mob pull. Not bad. This is probably partially due to the fact that...

Mind Flay has a new graphic! wait, I meant to say: Mind Flay can now crit!

The previous yawn that was Mind Flay spam is now more like playing slots: "c'mon crit baby, crit!" Haelus is my third ranking toon, so I don't spend a lot of time trolling Elitist Jerk's Shadow Priest forums, but it'll be interesting to see if crit becomes more of a thing for us to aspire to. Methinks yes.

Also Mind Flay now refreshing Shadow Word: Pain is awesome. I only have 2/3 talent points in Pain and Suffering so far, but 66% high enough to keep the DoT ticking, as it "rolls" on each Mind Flay tick.

I have yet to try out any Holy stuff... maybe in a few levels when he reaches Outland. :) I wonder if Holy DPS has been improved? Hmm...

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