MMO-Champion has found some new changes in the latest PTR patch. It looks Blizzard has turned their focus away from Shaman and Warlocks for a while in the wake of the recent total rollback of the Life Tap and Flametongue changes, and focused on weaking Restoration Druids some more, perhaps in the wake of the recent revelation that Druids are the most overrepresented class in arenas according to Blizzard's Internal metrics.
We'll look at the specific changes after the break.
* Non-self % based haste spells will no longer stack with each other.
* Lifebloom: The bonus coefficient on the final bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. This spell will no longer cause error messages when interacting with Spellsteal or while the Druid is under the effects of Mind Control.
* Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%.
* Improved Mend Pet now has a 25/50 (was 50/100) chance to remove one Curse, Disease, Magic, or Poison effect, up from 15/50%.
* Illumination: The mana energize from this talent no longer has a chance to set off other triggered effects.
The Lifebloom re-tool, at first glance, looks like it should be great news for PvE Restoration Druids. If you need an update or a reminder of what the Lifebloom saga is all about, check our own John Patricelli's recap here. The argument, if you'll recall, was that the original 8% nerf to the HoT portion of the Lifebloom caused the spell to be much less useful in PvE, since one of the most popular ways for a Restoration Druid to heal was via "rolling Lifeblooms," that is, a constant stack of 3 lifebloom HoT effects on the tank and anyone else taking damage. With the 8% nerf to the HoT coefficient removed, that healing strategy should work the same as it always has for PvE healing druids. In the meantime, the 20% nerf to the final bloom effect puts the nerf's effects almost entirely on Restoration Druids. If testing shows that the 8% HoT nerf has been taken out completely, when combined with the removal of the Life Tap nerf, It looks like we can say that Blizzard is slowly put surely learning to seperate the PvP and PvE game.
In other news, the reduction to Regrowth's mana cost should make emergency healing a bit easier, esecially for a Feral Druid or Moonkin who wants to hop out of form real quick and help save a dying tank. The Hunter Improved Mend Pet adjustment is... well, 50% currently seems to catch most effects on my pet by the end of its duration anyway, so it's probably a change I can live with. I'm more interested in improving my pet's survivability by sharing resilience with it or giving it some defense rating, anyhow. Paladins, what do you think about the Illumination change? It's a nerf, of course, but how much did you count on Illumiation triggering other effects? Will this hurt you a bit too much? What bout you, Hunters and Druids? Do you agree with my assessment of these changes?