Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Calling all Restos – Halite needs your help!

I pulled an interesting letter out of the knothole in the tree today.  A fellow druid needs our help.  In her own words:

“Amanna,I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile now via RSS and I must say I do enjoy your perspective on things (BRK led me your way once upon a time).  My druid is not quite out of her 50’s yet, but I’ve had a lot of fun leveling her up using a mostly feral build (some resto, for OoC and the heal thru).

Anyway, I’ve come to a decision that I’m a bit ambivalent about.  My husband and I are finally catching up to the rest of our real life friends we play/guild with.  He plays a pally and I have my druid to add to the mage, warlock and hunter that they bring to the table.  We need to decide which one of us will be healing and which will be tanking.

My history is in healers – my main in EQ1 was a cleric (and a damn fine one at that) and I’ve had a healer in almost every MMO I’ve played.  I picked the druid class mostly because I wanted choices about how I played her – now that a choice has come I’m having a terrible time.  At the moment we’re looking at him tanking (which really does fit his playstyle better) and me healing and probably working a balance/resto spec.  Of course this means I need to start working on a new set of gear (my current int gear is pretty weak, but I rarely use it) and a new spec, so before I start spending I thought I’d solicit some advice.

I know you’re a straight feral druid – but I also know you have a lot of druid readers who may have more experience with other builds/playstyles.  I didn’t want to post this on the WoW druid forums because I dislike the negativity that tends to flow from it.  Did you know that every single class sucks?  But back to the point … I was hoping you could perhaps ask your readers what a good balance/resto build might be – one that is still viable for soloing and doesn’t turn me into a squishie!

Thanks in advance,
Halite”

You’re right Halite – I’m a “straight” feral (which means absolutely no hanky-panky with moonkin; not that there’s anything wrong with that…), but I have healed before.  Us druids are great healers and I one time healed a group through Shattered Halls in my feral gear (not that I’d recommend that approach).  In our guild pallies seem to fill more healing roles than tanking roles, but then again we don’t have an abundance of Priests or Resto Druids.  On the other hand, our guild leader is a tanking Paladin and is awesome.

I think your assessment is correct though when you decide that you and your husband should play what you enjoy.  I find that goes a long way.  I too love the flexibility of being a Druid, but I don’t particularly care for healing.  I also agree with you on the forum negativity – I hardly ever check out the forums, which is a darn shame.

So, what can we do for Halite fellow Druids?  I know you’re out there – let’s give a little Druid love to her and share your thoughts with her on being a Druid healer heading towards TBC?

(Halite – I’d also suggest you check out The Build Mine project to see what other Druids are up to.  In particular, you might find the breakdown of 0/0/61 builds interesting).

Forms Bar

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July 12, 2007 - Posted by | Strategy - Resto, World of Warcraft

20 Comments »

  1. The pally can tank up through the level 60, and early 70 instances. However, once you get to heroics and kara, the pally will no longer be a viable tank.

    Paladins are great early game tanks, and great for multi-mob tanking a large number of soft-hitting mobs. Tanking in heroics and other end game instances involves being nothing more than a damage soak on 1 or maybe 2 mobs that hit really hard

    It would be fine to swap roles at the end game, except :

    1) Quest rewards – As you are leveling up a druid, many of the best items available (even in the end game) are early quest rewards. If you take all the resto rewards, then try to switch to be feral later, you wont be able to have the best items. This does not apply as much to the paladin, who can get some good upgrades from the late instances.

    2) Experience. Tanking and healing the end game takes lots of experience. If you level up as a resto, and then try to tank kara, you are going to suck. Same thing with leveling up prot and switching to holy.

    Now, if you dont intend to progress up to kara and heroics, then this advice doesn’t apply.

    As for a good resto build that doesn’t gimp you, I dont believe it exists. In order to heal end game instances you need to be really deep AND wide into the resto tree (even if you don’t go for tree of life). Doing so makes you a total gimp for solo content. If you go resto, be prepared to grind a lot to pay for respec, or have friends to quest and grind with all the time.

    The same situation applies to the paladin, but less so, since they wear plate even as holy.

    Comment by Grinal | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. One other point :

    Druids make freaking awesome end game tanks, and freaking awesome end game healers (With the exception of no OOC rez in a 5 man). So you have a choice either way.

    Paladins also make awesome end game healers, but don’t have the same viability as tanks as they do in the earlier game.

    Comment by Grinal | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. It’s my understanding that you’ve got at least two possibilities for a balance/resto build: one with at least 31 in Resto for Swiftmend and at least 27 in Balance for Lunar Guidance and Moonglow. If you don’t want Swiftmend, you could put more into Balance and get Dreamstate (and maybe even Moonkin too, a restokin!). You might also want to check out Phaelia’s blog at http://resto4life.blogspot.com/who is “straight” resto.

    Comment by gillir | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  4. Oops messed up that url: http:/resto4life.blogspot.com

    Comment by gillir | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. The two builds mentioned by gillir are great for going resto and grinding, up through level 70. They won’t cut the mustard in a heroic tho. For end game you need to get swiftment, and natures swiftness, and improved regrowth to be able to main heal the end game.

    On the other hand, I can main heal a non-heroic level 70 instance, even as full feral, as long as you have +1000 healing or more. Its only the true end game that forces you to go super deep in the trees.

    Comment by Grinal | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  6. Halite,
    It mostly boils down to what “you” want to do. If you choose a role that you don’t like you most likely will be unhappy with playing the game. I suggest you pick something you enjoy. As for leveling purposes, go with the balance/resto build. It something like 30/0/21. It has some of the major balance dps features, and you also have the 2 major healing spells from the resto tree which are swiftmend, and nature swiftness. Also, that particular build is sometimes considered a raiding build as well.
    All in all its a GREAT build for those who want to heal but still be able to solo by themself. It was the build that I used when I was leveling in outland.

    Oh and as for grinal’s comment about Paladin tanks, I disagree. A paladin is not a ideal tank but they can most certainly tank karazhan and any instance. But your still in the early stages of wow. When you enter the raiding phase you will probably be grouping with a raid that has a warrior for tanking, and your husband could be a optimal off tank.

    Best of Luck!
    Brunnor of Gorgonnash

    Comment by Bruennor | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  7. Whoops, made a mistake the 30/0/21 build doesn’t have the swiftmend but it still has nature swiftness.

    Comment by Bruennor | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  8. I have seen a video of a pally tank that pulled, held and tanked Moroes and ALL of his little friends with little difficulty. No cc, just consecration. Granted they’re undead which helps a ton, but try to have a druid/warrior do that… it will be messy. Also, some of our best healers in our guild are pallys. They are a great class, and if you know what you’re doing, very helpful in Karazhan.
    As for your spec, I’m afraid I can not be much help here. I have been feral since day one and will never change. I will say this: I have over 1400 +healing gear in my bank and, regardless of my talent selections, I can still solo heal any 5 man instance. I wouldn’t dare be one of two healers on a boss fight in Kara or anything, but when it comes down to non-raids, I can do just fine.

    I recommend you do what I did. Go here: http://www.wow-loot.com/druid.htm
    Print the entire thing off and go through each page to figure out what you want most. It will greatly help when deciding which items to select for quest rewards. For example: Upon reaching Honored with Cenarion Expedition, you can pick up Preserver’s Cudgel for fairly cheap and it is a great healing weapon, but in just a couple more levels you get a much better weapon (Azure Lightblade) from a quest reward in Negrand and realize you wasted all of your money on the Cudgel. (This is the mistake I made lol)

    I’ve printed these pages out for each of my 70s and it has helped me prioritize my gear greatly.

    Also, the resto druids in my guild were frustrated at the lack of a “list” for them like the one we have, so I did a bit of research and found a great resto set for them. It involves a lot of heroics, but is still an amazing set for healing even though it lacks gem slots.

    Sorry for the spam, but I think this is a great set for healing… obviously lol

    http://www.wowhead.com/?items=4.2&filter=qu=3;minle=112;maxle=115;cr=9 3:50:12:51:18;crs=2:1:2:3:5;crv=0:0:0:0:0#00zc

    [Boots of the Glade-Keeper] – Cache (Mech)
    [Crown of the Forest Lord] – Musel’ek (Heroic Underbog)
    [Earthsoul Britches] – Quagmirran (Heroic Slave Pens)
    [Lucid Dream Bracers] – Nexus-Prince (Heroic Tombs)
    [Mantle of Autumn] – Laj (Botanica)
    [Natural Mender’s Wraps] – Avatar of Martyred (Heroic Crypts)
    [Raiments of Nature’s Breath] – Nazan (Heroic Ramparts)
    [The Sleeper’s Cord] – Soccothrates (Arcatraz)

    Totaling everything up I get the following:

    180 Stamina
    205 Intellect
    168 Spirit
    460 Healing
    Mana regeneration 7

    Compared to Stormrage:

    122 Stamina
    177 Intellect
    103 Spirit
    275 Healing
    28 Spell critical strike rating
    20 Mana regeneration

    Compared to Dreamwalker (9 pieces):

    175 Stamina
    205 Intellect
    130 Spirit
    473 Healing done by spells
    35 Mana regeneration

    Comment by Slipslappy | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  9. Goodness, it’s so nice to get all these responses!

    To answer a question above, yes this is to do instances, both heroic and non. Raiding – well that’s quite a bit further down the line if it happens at all.

    I suppose I’m concerned about not being able to solo if I go full resto, which is what my instinct tells me to do (but I think that’s because I was a cleric for so long). I also worry that if I go balance I’ll end up being a mage without the dps of a mage and get smushed anytime I try and kill things inside where I can’t root. I just don’t have the cash to gear myself appropriately for each spec and try them out one by one.

    Bless you for mentioning the quest rewards issue. I knew there was another reason I had to decide soon (I’ll be 57 during my next play session). Maybe my problem is that I’ll just miss my kitty.

    I’ll look into resto4life and some of the builds mentioned and see what I can come up with.

    Thank you all so much, I do appreciate it!
    Halite, Malfurion

    Comment by Halite | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  10. There is a ton of info out there just at your fingertips. Everybody has an opinion as well… Which is great… but really focus on how you want to play… This site has been a wealth of info for me as well.. and it isn’t websensed fortunately. lol

    Feral is great for grinding up.. but if you end up always
    playing with a set group of people then you can sacrifice more on the whole PVE viability. So cranking more into say the resto area than moonkin… That being said.. even if you
    dump the points to get the moonkin… really consider if you want to be one… The moonkin is essentially a battle mage.. you will get a boost of armor, attack power, and an aura which helps the party… The whole point of the attack
    power is that it helps you with mana regeneration while striking a target. Plus in moonkin form you can’t heal..
    That can be dangerous since you need to account for time to drop form and heal in any OMG situation.
    maybe take a look at some 30/0/31 builds out there and see
    what they do… or if you just like healing all together go
    full resto. From what you posted it sounds like you group with friends a lot.

    There have been a lot of good points made here… there are some items you receive that you just can’t get back… Quest rewards that are powerful enough on their own that you
    will not be able to update until endgame… Those pretty much start in the old world.. a good one to think about is the http://www.wowhead.com/?item=13966 “mark of Tyranny”

    If you truly enjoy the healing aspect… maybe think about dumping 31 points into the resto side then building up the
    balance side afterward. Since you are taking the official
    role of “healer” dropping 31 points in it will give you a nice solid chunk to work with. True it may change over time
    as the game gets more difficult… but that is what respec is for…

    Looks like the general advise from everyone here is to do what is going to make the game fun for you NOW… and worry about the end raiding later… I hope some of this helped.

    Comment by eyesis | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  11. Halite,
    Even if you go full resto you will still be able to solo it will just be slower. A good idea is to collect those nice healing items, but on the side start grabbing a grinding/soloing gear set that you use when you are not healing.
    Before burning crusade was out I level’d my druid from 50-60 as a full resto druid. Its slower but not impossible. Also you have the advantage of friends and your hubby :-p Let him to the killing and you just heal him. Its a great combination with the 2 of you, you can handle larger groups and thus gain more experience.

    Brunnor of gorgonnash

    Comment by Bruennor | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  12. On a side note to Bruennor…
    Most of the resto druids in my guild have an almost full set of feral gear (same with the holy priests having dps gear). Granted you don’t get the bonuses that you would get if you spec’ed feral, but you would still be able to melt things. 🙂 I have a full resto set, a full dps kitty set, and a full tanking set. Healing set stays in the bank and I carry my tanking set around with me because you’ll never know when you’ll need it. If I were you I would either stock up on spell damage/crit gear or… lots of str/agi gear and hold onto it for when you want to solo grind.

    Comment by Slipslappy | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  13. Good advice from Slipslappy re:multiple gear sets… and i think its good advice for any druid!

    I’m feral, which means a tanking kit and a dps kit… both good enough to hold a top spot in a kara run. But i also have a healing kit (slightly sub-kara standard, but still decent), and even have a balance kit (levelled up to 63 as a balance druid).

    On the topic of balance druids, if you do decide to spec that way, that are certainly not “mages without the dps”. They have awesome focused dps, and i personally don’t think you need to spec heavily in balance to deal out serious pain. What they lack is good crowd control and good AoE, which is why mages tend to be preferred.

    Comment by Taur | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  14. I’m spec’d balance almost exclusively (see site!), and believe me, you can still heal, np. I’ve spent 15 points in resto (42/0/15 — http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/character-talents.xml?r=Proudmoore&n=Jalindrine), but 5 are improved MotW and 2 in intensity. I’m also interested in naturalist for the dmg increase as well.

    Which is to say you can spec whatever you want and with good gear groups will still happily accept you as the healer. Once you hit 70 and raid, expect to respec, but you can be a great non-squishie with balance/moonkin or feral and fill the healing role.

    Cheap healing gear? Search the AH for “of healing” and grab some leather. When you’re healing, usually being a little squishie is np. The Healer’s Staff of the Forest was pretty easy to get later on as a quest item; watch for it!

    Comment by panzerkin | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  15. Thank you all for your help, I knew this was a better avenue to get my advice than the forum! =)

    I’ve decided to try a balance/resto build. I’m still deciding if I’m going to put an actual point into moonkin, but I do want dreamstate (it just sounds too wonderful to pass up). Of course this makes my build an awkward 33/0/28, but I can always change my mind later on the moonkin point and steal it from the resto tree somewhere. I’m just not sure that I’m going to want the extra healing threat that comes from standing close enough to the mob to melee it – and if I’m not going to do that, then it’s kind of a wasted point.

    I plan on trying out my new build this weekend, although I’m going to need to pick up a couple pieces of gear to update my older int/heal set. Happily the feral set I’m currently wearing can be used for soloing and the suggestion of just keeping it updated to solo with was great. I worried that without spec’ing feral I wouldn’t be able to be effective in that form.

    Again, thank you all for your suggestions and help … especially for the reassurance. Hopefully one of these days my husband catches up to me in zones and we can duo together more – he likes to do ALL of the quests. This means I’m usually at least 2-3 zones ahead of him since I move on when they turn grey/green (unless there’s some chain I’ve been working with a great reward).

    Halite

    Comment by Halite | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  16. I’m all-balance in my mid 40’s, and I’ve found that the balance talents are quite complementary for healing — I’ve main-healed 5-mans without too much panic (gotta love Dreamstate).

    If you’re balance/resto you’ll want to decide whether to focus your talents on HOTs or on Healing Touch — my sense is that the HOTs are better for full resto specs, while HT is good for hybrids.

    Also, I’d recommend Moonkin form. That will give you maximum flexibility in playstyle; you can nuke trash that your husband tanks, you can heal him on tough mobs, and he can even heal you while you Moonkin tank. Moonkin is also amazing for soloing.

    Comment by Knaac | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  17. As far as being close to a mob when healing… I have spoken to a dozen very solid resto druids about this. When you have omen of clarity up, whenever you hit a mob you have a chance to have your next heal spell cost 0 mana. I recommend all healers put a point in this and melee all non-cleaving mobs.
    When I got my Earthwarden I decided to spend some time leveling my 2h maces. I popped omen of clarity up and went down to deadwind to kill the undead down there. I literally spent an hour on one mob (mace skill was pretty low lol) and didn’t spend one drop of mana because I popped a rejuv or renew whenever ooc was up. Highly recommend spending a point on this talent.

    Comment by Slipslappy | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  18. But I was under the impression that you gained something like 30% threat if you were within a certain yardage of the mob while healing.

    Is this incorrect?

    I have OoC now – and it’s built into my new plan simply because I will probably solo in feral and if I’m already going to lose so many helpful energy/rage talents, I’m going to keep the one that at least gives me a free whatever once in a while.

    I’m still considering moonkin – just not sure yet. If I do get that, then moonkin and OoC will complement each other just fine. Happily I’m not 70 yet and don’t have to make that decision for awhile. I can always pop a point in there anytime in the next 13 levels. =)

    Comment by Halite | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  19. If I were you, I would look up dreamstate healing builds. Something like this might work out for you.

    It’ll give you enough in Balance talents to make soloing a lot easier. It’ll also be a good healing build all the way into endgame. The basic strategy is to use downranked Healing Touch most of the time for your large heals, and HoTs to keep people topped. You can find more information about the dreamstate healing builds pretty much anywhere. 🙂

    And honestly, I recommend against Omen of Clarity. It’s nice, but in the vast majority of situations you don’t want to be anywhere near the mob, and you’re going to be too busy healing to be thwacking it with your weapon anyway. OoC is a great Feral talent, sucky caster talent.

    Comment by Fiordhraoi | July 14, 2007 | Reply

  20. I have Restokin currently level 66. From level 40-52 she was full Resto. Imo, nothing can beat a Tree for mass healing. That being said you are concerned with being able to solo as full Resto. Yes you can solo and omg yes it will take forever unless you always always have a buddy along. I would advise going 31 into the Resto tree (to be able to heal your group thru anything) and then start spending into balance. Up to 70 collect Balance gear and level like mad. Once you hit 70, try out the 20/41 build. This gives you ToL to heal thru any instance and 20 points in Balance to be able to do any quest. Whatever you do, have fun; it’s what it’s all about.

    Comment by Quintessa Kirin Tor | September 6, 2007 | Reply


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