I almost wish I'd sold the Darkmoon Card. Almost. When I did my mana experiment last Tuesday after the new mechanic and spec changes, I ran with this spec. It was pretty painful, to say the least. Keeping up at least three Rejuvs in order to supplement my faster Nourishes drained my mana faaaaast. So after the raid I took a trip to Shattrath, watched a quick Tauren Chieftans concert (I'm a complete fangirl :P) and came back with a shiny new card to show for it. But really, it didn't help all that much.
Wednesday I changed my spec, opting out of Efflorescence entirely. The mana situation didn't feel any better. If anything, it felt worse because I wasn't contributing as much AoE healing to the raid. But I've been in bad mana situations before. Gear fixes many things and I figured I would get used to it in time.
Then I went on vacation and wasn't in the raid Friday. The guild downed Cho'gall, woot! Disc was broken (and has since been fixed), but the fight came together well enough. We downed him again this week, a one-shot. I'm proud of us :). But while I was on vacation, I read a lot of blog posts. When you don't have WoW to crowd the downtime, it's amazing how much you can read! Anyway, I found Beru's post over at Falling Leaves and Wings about her experiences removing Efflorescence from her spec and why she's opting out of Nature's Bounty instead. She has a lot of numbers to back up her findings (I really should use World of Logs, just for my own knowledge, put that on the to-do list :P), but the gist of it was this:
Ok, I hear what you are thinking now “but all of those encounters have SO much raid damage that efflorescence really shines”. I agree! So I thought “ok, let me find an encounter without a lot of raid damage”. And you know what? THEY DON’T EXIST!
And thinking back on the fights, I tend to agree. So I removed Nature's Bounty, took back Efflorescence, and added Furor to my build (I'd been pretty much ignoring it before). And now my mana problems are non-existent. My second spirit trinket is now benched in favor of my Vibrant Alchemist Stone, which provides throughput AND a bit of a mana buff for when I use my potions. With the new spec, I'm having no more mana problems. Yay :).
Let's get ready to cooldown! Hmmm, sounded more epic in my head.
Anyway, a delicious post from blue Nethaera gives druids and shaman hope that we'll get a healing cooldown similar to Guardian Spirit or Hand of Sacrifice in the near future. Or at least it shows that the devs are thinking about it.
There's been a lot of cool ideas thrown around about what that cooldown might be. One of them I see a lot is Barkskin castable on others. I was thinking that was a cool idea, too, then something I read on Restokin got me thinking: Barkskin cast on others is just asking of a PvP-based nerf. The cooldown on your personal Barkskin would definitely be tied to the healing cooldown, which sucks on fights where big damage comes down on everyone (hello Nefarian!) and fights where the tank isn't the only one being beaten on (Maloriak comes to mind).
Jar's ideas over at Rank 4 Healing Touch got me thinking, though, that Nature's Swiftness isn't really a great talent anymore. It doesn't give tanks much health back with our huge health pools and even DPS aren't healed to full health with it (13% for DPS and 20% for tanks, he writes), so really it's a nice way to play catch-up when tank healing, but that's about it. And when we only get 41 talent points, having one point that does so little to actively affect your healing isn't that great. Augmenting Nature's Swiftness to make it more fun and interesting would certainly be cool. But what if we dropped the talent all together?
If there was a hole in the talent tree where NS used to be, that would make room for the healing cooldown talent we'd all like. A targeted version of Barkskin or an augment to Thorns (wouldn't that be interesting!)
Actually, if you can hang with me while I go stream-of-consciousness, a talent that made Thorns into a healing cooldown would be really cool. It would likely need to increase the cooldown on Thorns itself to 3 minutes or so, perhaps decreasing the damage dealt by Thorns by 25% and the duration by 10 seconds, but decreasing damage taken by the target by 30%. Admittedly, it's not an advanced idea, mostly modeled after the current healing cooldowns of other classes, but the added threat the tank is generating is a cool bonus. Maybe don't even nerf the damage dealt by Thorns. I'd sort of like that. It would get me to use Thorns more often!
I'm all full of exclamation points today :). So my birthday is coming up later this month and one of the things I'm getting is the ubercool Razer Naga mouse. I plan to map a TON of abilities to my shiny new 17 buttons and hopefully get used to them. Once I'm relatively comfortable with it, I'll post a bit about it and how things are going with the transition. I'm not kidding myself that it'll be easy or instant. It took me a while to adjust to mouseover macro healing, it'll take me a while to adjust to click-to-cast healing :P. But I can make it work!