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WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes, part 2

Allison Robert

On to Restoration, but not before we get a peek at our shiny...well, Tier 8 shoulders --

It reminds me a lot of Tier 5, which I quite liked. And look at the little paws! And the moon has craters on it!

LIVING SEED: This talent now accounts for your ineffective healing, rather than effective.

If I understand this correctly (and I may not, so please drop a comment if I get this wrong), this is a pretty sizable buff that will allow for the talent's effect to scale much better than it currently does. Rather than granting your target a Living Seed for 30% of the effective heal you landed, it'll grant a Living Seed for 30% of what you actually healed. Which is to say, if you land a 6K crit Regrowth on a target but they were only down 2K health, Living Seed will now bloom on the next hit for 1,800 rather than 600. This almost seems like a bug fix rather than a buff; on the live realms Living Seed actually punishes you by healing for less if you're religious about keeping your target topped-off, but I'm not going to quibble.

IMPROVED MARK OF THE WILD: Now also increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.

Nice! The talent had already gotten a big improvement going into Wrath, and this is a very welcome buff. I have IMotW even as a feral just because it's so good right now, and I'll be even more glad to have it.

NEW TALENT -- IMPROVED BARKSKIN: Increases the damage reduction granted by your Barkskin spell by 5/10%, and increases your resistance to Dispel mechanics by an additional 30/60% while under the effect of Barkskin.

I was praying this would wind up somewhat earlier in the Restoration tree, but no dice; it's pretty far down and inaccesible to anyone without 45 points in the Resto tree. This talent is pretty clearly aimed at the depressing time that Resto's been having in PvP recently, although I have to question both the placement and ultimate usefulness of the talent. A 10% increase to Barkskin may not really be enough to help versus the insane burst that DPS are currently dishing out, and the most dangerous dispels we've faced this season have come from Death Knights, who -- as of 3.1 -- won't be able to do that anymore. And if the talent's current tooltip is accurate, this only helps resist dispel attempts on yourself and not your partners. Well, we'll see. This seems like the sort of talent you want while being focus-fired, which is guaranteed to happen in PvP, so I'm going to reserve judgment for the moment

REPLENISH: This talent is now re-named "Revitalize" and now also works with Wild Growth.

Resto Druids have been asking if it would be possible to get Replenish yoked to WG for a bit. The Revitalize proc is almost inarguably more useful for DPS than it is for a tank (and WG is the go-to raid healing spell in our arsenal), so we'll see if the talent becomes more popular. Right now it's one of the most routinely jettisoned Restoration talents.

TREE OF LIFE: You can now use Nature's Grasp and Thorns while within this form.

The Nature's Grasp change is going to help a great deal in PvP, because having to blow through hundreds of mana to shift forms and cast that one bitty spell was insanely inefficient. Then again, considering that you can't cast Cyclone or Entangling Roots in Tree form either, you can make a pretty compelling argument that ToL is almost more troube than it's worth, at least for arena. The Thorns change is going to remove a huge irritant to PvE Restos as it's one of those spells that you should really have on the tanks at all times, and shifting in and out in order to cast and recast a short-duration buff is extremely annoying.

I'll be back later today with a look at the undocumented changes with the current PTR build, and Dan O'Halloran will also have his guide to pre-raid Cat gear for today's "Shifting Perspectives," so hang tight.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

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