We've been spending the last couple of days catching up on the overflowing RSS feeder (caused in part by a very relaxing long weekend) trying to glean some insight as to the current viability in 3.0.
Or, as i like to call it: 3.Whoa!
Since talk about 'teh PvPz' here, and hopefully people reading this are keeping up with PvP news, I'm sure that everyone has heard that burst damage is out of control. And it is. It is honest to God, flat out, way the hell out of control.
With the advent of the OMGadins and the Cya-Muti-laters, self preservation tactics have never been more important. The reason for this is requirement is that any two melee, especially if it includes any of the two aforementioned, can nuke me in the span of a full Kidney Shot or a Hammer of Justice. In fact, a high end PvE geared Mutilate Rogue 100-0'd me while my trinket and Barkskin were down. Thankfully I caught the EOTS rez timer as it was ticking out and came back for round 2. Sadly, the second verse was same as the first. Amusingly, the only clean escape that I managed to eek out last night was in an AB, getting gang banged by a Warrior and a Ret Paladin, when my Warrior buddy managed to successfully peel both melee off of me and even so, I was at 30% with the MS debuff, Barkskin up and at least Lifebloom and an NS'd Regrowth ticking.
Wait, Natures Swiftness'd Regrowth? Why not Healing Touch?
Glyph of Healing Touch: Decreases the cast time of Healing Touch by 1.5 sec., the mana cost by 25%, and the amount healed by 50%.
With the appropriate Resto Talent (Naturalist) and the Glyph, Healing Touch can be brought down to a 1 second cast time for around a 2k heal with around 1k spellpower for around 460 or so mana. Ok, big deal, right? Well, actually it's a pretty big deal, especially for a level 70 Restokin; lack of Swiftmend. See, one of the biggest problems with RestoDruid PvP is that if you are ever put in to a bad position where hots won't be enough to save someone, especially with the much more expensive Lifebloom, the only other option is to expose your nature tree. This is usually to the tune of a) 1.5 seconds for a Cyclone, which means you have to get close, hope it isnt resisted and hope their trinket is down or b) 1.8 seconds for a Regrowth. Notably, both options open up the Nature school to lockout. Of course, not getting into this kind of situation would be best, but, in such cases, it's infinitely easier to pump out a quick 1 second Healing Touch while avoiding interrupts. Even with Pummel/Kick off GCD, its very difficult to stop such a fast cast when latency is taken into consideration. You may not even have to juke the cast! If you have Nature's Grace proc'd, that's a half second cast time.
I can't say whether or not it's going to be viable or even mana efficient in the long run for the arena, but, it's incredibly fun in BG's to have a cast time that short. The one thing it does do poorly is it removed the viability of NS Healing Touch. Gone are the days of a clutch crit NS Healing Touch for 9k. However, little forward thinking will be able to mitigate a significant portion of the incoming burst.
All said and done, last night's BG experience was quite fun as both Boomkin (58/0/3) and as Restokin (31/0/30). I have yet to try a full resto tree build synergizing Living Seed and Imp Regrowth, but I'll be honest, it doesn't really have the allure (or disruption/escape) exhibited by the old 8/11/42 build. Without the WotLK spirit itemization or Dreamstate, I just don't know how long a deep resto Druid with PvP gear will be able to go without going oom fighting the burst.