Friday, March 6, 2009

3.1 Lifebloom Change in PvP

Currently on the 3.1 PTR is a change that I hope will never see the light of day on Live:

Lifebloom now lets the Druid regain half of the cost of the spell when Lifebloom completes its duration or is dispelled.
Here's the other part that isn't explained in the 'patch' notes

The mana cost of Lifebloom has doubled and the final bloom healing value will scale depending on the number of stacks at the point of expiriation or dispel.

Let's get this straight once and for all. If this change holds true, this is a huge nerf for both PvE and PvP.

This is NOT a buff for PvP. I do not care if you have a different opinion. I do not care if you hate me or if you think i'm stupid.

Why this is a huge nerf:

  • You cannot predict when the 'bloom' aspect of a Lifebloom is needed in PvP (or PvE for that matter). If it blooms when we need it to, great! If it blooms when we're at full health, that's just a big ol' waste of mana. The bloom is a side-benefit of the actual heal over time. The only times the bloom has ever been beneficial in PvP, aside from the random beneficial blooms, is if the Druid was being spam dispelled, if the Druid outgeared that season's damage and could afford to not be topped off while conserving mana or if the Druid was in a cc chain and could not refresh Lifebloom. Betting on RNG to give you a bloom when you need it and then touting it as a PvP buff is just plain bad.
  • Our mana pools in PvP gear are tiny. Mine in full Hateful/Deadly doesn't even break 14k. Applying 3 Lifeblooms to protect against the initial burst of a stealthed class will cost us almost 3000 mana with this change. If I want to do that for me and a partner in 2v2, that's HALF of my mana pool. Compare that to the strength and mana cost of 1 Renew. Yeaaah. Also, before the naysayers claim that the bloom helps a ton, may I remind you that letting that 3 stack bloom is a BAD thing because we will have to waste 3 gcd's reapplying that protective measure. If we're under pressure, we need those GCD's for other abilities. We cannot afford wasting 3+ seconds in those periods of emergency.
  • As a Druid, we don't have the natural caster form defensive statistics of a Paladin or a Shaman and we don't have the long duration damage prevention abilities of a Priest. The only thing we can do is pre-hot. Since Rejuv/Regrowth don't tick fast enough when we're in trouble, we have to use Lifebloom. And since Lifebloom has such a short duration before the bloom hits, we have to keep casting to essentially provide the same potential mitigation as a Power Word: Shield/Prayer of Mending.
  • The only way to cut the cost of Lifebloom and to provide damage mitigation is to sit in Tree of Life Form and soak damage. We can't play offensive in ToL, as shifting back into ToL costs additional GCD's and mana, further limiting our possibilities.

It's obvious that Blizzard thinks that rolling Lifebloom on 3 Tanks while WildGrowthing the Raid is incredibly powerful. I agree. It is. However, rolling Lifeblooms is a skill, and not something that should be penalized. It takes far more concentration to accurately roll Lifeblooms on several players while doing everything else that one has to do.

Do I have a solution? Not really. All of my ideas either make Lifebloom very strong or very weak. I think that overall, the Resto Druid talent dynamics and itemization should promote a tertiary statistic (either crit or haste), because as of right now, neither of those stats are worth a damn. We get ridiculous amounts of crit from the Improved Regrowth talent and with Nature's Grace and Gift of the Earthmother, have on demand haste. Once that tertiary statistic is fleshed out, then Lifebloom's interaction with that stat can be altered to either promote or discourage rolling of hots, hopefully without eating a billion GCD's.