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Patch 2.3 and you: Druid Edition

Dan O'Halloran

With Patch 2.2 out the door, the official information about 2.3 hasn't stopped all afternoon. Here's what's in store for Druids as confirmed on the official forums by blues:

  • Spell damage added to Healing gear. This was hinted at during Blizzcon and confirmed today: All +Heal gear will receive one-third of the healing bonus as +spell damage. So a chest piece with +750 healing will now also have +250 spell damage. The addition of spell damage is a bonus and will not lower any other stat on the equipment. (source)
  • Intensity is changing. Currently, this Restoration talent increases your mana regeneration in combat 5%/10%/15%. After Patch 2.3, the mana regeneration will increase to 10%/20%/30%. (source)
  • Druid combat rez is having its cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. CM Bornakk went on to confirm that the cooldown will not be reduced any further since that would seriously imbalance PvP. (source)
  • Zul'Aman is ready to go in Patch 2.3. This is important news for druids as some Balance spec itemization issues were promised to be addressed in this 10-man post-Karazhan instance.
  • New relics for Druid, Shaman and Paladin PvP players. Blues didn't have specific details but promised they would be tailored for many different specs. (source 1, source 2)
  • Moonkin's PvP viability will get a boost: they will be able to cast Remove Curse while in Moonkin form. (source)
  • Tree of Life form will be able to cast Cure Poison and Abolish Poison. (source)
  • No changes planned for feral druids in this patch. (source)
What these changes mean to druids after the jump.

The +spell damage bonus is a welcome addition to all of those Resto specced raid healers looking to do some pewpewpew in their offtime. Again, I see it as another reason there will be a resurgence in the Dreamstate spec. It will also help with some much needed +spell dmg itemization on leather items for Balance druids.

With the Intensity change, I forsee a revival of the Dreamstate healing spec (deep Balance & key Restoration talents resulting in maximum Mana Regen for endurance healing). I also see this as part of Blizzard's commitment to making Spirit a more valuable stat.

Tranquility receiving the benefit of +Heal great is going to make it more of an aggro magnet than it already is. This, in turn, will make the Improved Tranquility talent mandatory (reduces Tranquility threat 100% for 2pts). But where are you going to pull those 2 points from? Especially if you're a Dreamstate Druid? The answer is: you don't and you continue to ignore Tranquility except in extreme circumstances.

The combat rez cooldown reduction is much welcomed. I know many druids have been campaigning for a regular rez, but let's not snub our snouts at this change. I ended up combat rezzing the healer in a pick up group last night in the first 3 minutes. And healing him. And Innervating him. And healing the tank. And then I went back to cat dps. But I digress. The quicker I can reuse this, the better.

Finally, Zul'Aman. Though we have no details on the Moonkin drops in the new zone, the next patch is promised to go up soon on the PTR and then on to Live quickly after that. Details should be forthcoming soon. I just wish that the Moonkin itemization problems could be addressed without forcing us into raid zones.

The relic issue has been a big one lately. Druid Tank just wrote an excellent blog entry about this very issue two days ago. Why is a level 60 green item the best relic for a bear tank? I'm glad to see that Blizzard is starting to address this issue, but it would be even better if they offered a non-PvP alternative as well.

Balance druids getting Remove Curse in Moonkin form is probably a great boon to PvP'ers when facing Warlocks. I don't pretend to know the details of Druid based PvP, so if any commenter has insight into the impact of this change on Moonkin PvP gameplay, please let us know.

Tree druids can now cast their two poison curing spells without shifting out to humanoid form. What else is there to say about this change other than: finally!

Information is still pouring out of Blizzard fast and furious, so check back for more updates!

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