Friday, August 14, 2009

[Druid, 3.2.2] Free Nature spells! Sign me up!

As an anonymous poster pointed out, the 3.2.2 patch notes have hit the airwaves, and in it is this fairly interesting little mechanic:

  • Predatory Strikes: This talent now also causes the druid's finishing moves to provide a 7/13/20% chance per combo point to make the next Nature spell with a cast time below 10 seconds instant cast.

As anon asks, should this be considered in the kitty rotation to make it even more challenging and awesome?

Well, quickly: the short answer is no. At least not in a standard way. Wrath does about 620 damage max per cast. Moonfire does 1276 possible, but it's arcane anyway so wouldn't be instant. Starfire also does 1200 damage or so, but is also arcane. Hurricane might be okay, but it being 'instant' doesn't really help things.

So an instant-cast wrath doing about 620 damage? Not worth losing 2 seconds of melee attacks and 2 GCDs (one to switch to caster and cast the spell, one to swap back). Especially when melee attacks are about .8 seconds long, they do at least 600 damage each, and can crit, proc OoC, etc.

So what about nurturing instincts and healing spells? Healing touch heals around 4k, and with Nurturing instincts you'll get about 700-800 spellpower, making that a decent-sized heal at NS/HT speeds. Could that be okay?

Well...maybe. It really depends on how long 'the next' means. If it's similar to clearcasting, where you have a 10-15 second window of opportunity, that could be a fairly decent deal situationally where you absolutely need to save someone. But the key here is situational; healing 5k on one random target every 10-12 seconds or so is about 500 health per second healing assuming no overheal, and it's not something that healers can reasonably rely on. It's also a decent chunk of DPS hit; again, you're losing at least 2 seconds of melee time, 2 GCDs, and potentially energy depending on your furor levels. You're also losing talents going into nurturing instincts; if you lose improved leader of the pack, you've traded having all melee and hunters heal themselves every 6 seconds for about 800 health for one 5k heal every 12 seconds on one target. That doesn't sound like a very good trade to me. I can see it being used in random points to save the day - things like a heroic that's gone pear-shape, or one random raid where for some reason all the healers aren't available, or even on something like Vezax to potentially help the tanks out a tad.

I think it's a good addition to PvP - probably mandatory to allow things like instant cyclones and heals - but I also think that it's not particularly useful to consider regularly. But that doesn't mean you should forget it - keep it in your box of tools and remember it now and then.


Sasslite said...

I see this as a pvp buff, it doesn't really effect the raiding kitty atm.

Blizz did say they want us shifting more, first the mana reduction moved to KotJ and now this are the first steps.

Xarnen said...

Bloodlust+Hysteria+Berserk+FB Crit = aggro kitty. Yea I see this coming in handy, albeit with a pvp focus and very situation.

Anonymous said...

This buff wont give us more DPS or better tanking ability - but it certanly give the creative druid something to play with:)

Can someone post a macro for healing yourself with healing touch? I am a little rusty, but it should go something like this:

/target self
/equip "healing weapon)
/caster form....
/cast healing touch
/cast cat form

This macro wont work but maby someone can post a functional macro? (I am not sure where the equip macro should be inserted!)

At least this buff give us some more survivability:)

Also, everyone should have a healing addon like Healbot or Grid. Then at least you can use your instant heal to try and save someone.

PS: In DPS gear I have 2370 agility raid buffed (acording to rawr). Subtract 100 agility from weapon and multiply 2270 agility with 0,7 (Nurturing Instinct) = 1589 and add like 511 (or something) from healing weapon and you get 2100 healing in DPS gear (thats more then I have in Healing gear and healing speced!!). That should make Healing Touch heal for 6-6,5k (9-10k crit). Thats pretty decent emergincy healing imo.

How much DPS do you loose if you spec for Nurtruing Instinct? Short answer: almost nothing. Why? Because Feral Aggression is weak. 5 points in Feral Aggression is at most 1% extra DPS (assuming your Ferocious Bite does 6,7% of you total damage (6,7%*0,15 = 1%). 2 points in Feral Aggression is like 0,4% dps which is noting.
You could also take 2 points from Primal Precison which is wort close to nothing if you are expertise caped (6,5%) and close to hit caped (8%).

Kalon said...

Anon, on the macro it would be something like this:

/target Felhoof (your name here)
/equip Staff of the Awesome
/cast [target=self]healing touch

You can't do more than that in a macro, and even that would take at least one GCD. You can't switch back to cat form immediately, for instance.

And I agree - it's good for emergency healing. However, I'd rather do something like shift to bear and blow SI/barkskin/frenzied regen; that only takes one talent point, it gives back far more HP than healing touch, and it puts you in a form that can at least do marginal DPS and maintains your 5 combo points.

And me, personally? I'd not be taking points from feral aggression. Okay, I'd be taking _one_. Imp LotP is great for raiding. Primal Precision is stellar and allows you to ignore hit and expertise since you get refunded the cost of finishers that don't connect - you don't want to ditch this unless you have seriously high expertise and you're hit-capped. So I'd be trading either DPS for it, or I'd be trading raidwide survivability for it. Neither seems like a good choice. It seems like a solution in search of a problem.

Melthu said...

Just wanted to note that Moonfire is currently instant cast, and definintely not worth the shift.

Kalon said...

Melthu, that was meant a bit tongue-in-cheek. :) Like I said, it's clearly not worth the DPS time no matter what.

Though part of me dearly wishes it would; it would be really interesting if cat DPS was similar to enhancement shaman DPS and had spellcasting parts to it.

krukk said...


Kalon said...

krukk, I don't see a large advantage in doing an instant-cast rebirth. It would go 1.5 seconds faster, but it would also have to wait for you to do a finishing move. If you have to rebirth and this is up, I can imagine it being okay, but it's hardly a gamebreaker or even something to really try often.

ArchDruid Angela said...

That does seem nice for PVP. Maybe also possibly for those "just stay alive" fights, if you get really low (as a cat alternative to taking your warlock ball or health pot.)