Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twig Heals: 101 - Gift of the Earthmother (pre 3.3)

Lesson 3: Gift of the Earthmother

At the end of the restoration tree there’s a talent that a lot of druids may not fully understand. It’s a 5 point talent that seems to benefit three very important healing spells, but if you’re new to level 80 or just a casual player you’re probably not 100% certain about how or why. That talent is called Gift of the Earthmother, and this blog will help you decide if it’s a gift you’ll want to return.

Before we can discuss what GotE does, we have to understand what a global cooldown (GCD) is. Basically, GCD is the time we have to wait after casting one spell before we can cast again. I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can’t just turbo click on lifebloom and have it cast every time. With zero haste and zero talents, that GCD is 1.5 seconds… and it can seem like an eternity if/when we’re in a pinch. GotE reduces that GCD on your rejuvenation, lifebloom, and wildgrowth spells by 4% to 20% depending on how many points you spend.

Is it worth it? Let’s dive in deeper. With zero haste, GotE will have the following affect on rejuvenation, lifebloom and wild growth…

1 point = GCD of 1.44 seconds
2 points = GCD of 1.38 seconds
3 points = GCD of 1.32 seconds
4 points = GCD of 1.26 seconds
5 points = GCD of 1.2 seconds

Three tenths of a second might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a noticeable difference. Especially in those hairy moments when you’re trying to HoT up as many targets as possible before a raid wide damage spike occurs.

Well then, that settles it. Gift of the earthmother is worth getting… right?

Not so fast. Before you go spending 5 talent points, let’s step out of the zero haste bubble and step into the real WoW world. Chances are if you’re a raiding tree who’s considering this talent, you’ve managed to acquire a haste rating somewhere along the way. Assuming that’s the case, the GCD on ALL your spells is already under 1.5 seconds. If you’re curious just how far under, here’s a rough formula to help you figure it out.

GCD = 1.5 – ((Haste/32.79)*.015)

I know, I know, this is getting kind of technical. Let me try to simplify. In mostly Naxx 25 gear, my haste rating is 374. If I plug that into the formula, my GCD is approximately 1.33 seconds. And that’s with zero points in GotE. Not too shabby. My GCD is already roughly where it would be with 3 points in GotE and zero haste. Am I going to notice a difference if I spend my talent points on top of what my haste gives me?

Short answer: Maybe, maybe not.

With diminishing returns, I would need 5 points in GotE and a haste rating of 505 to lower my GCD to 1 second flat (505 is the oft discussed haste “cap” and 1 second is the lowest GCD you can have). That same haste rating with zero points in GotE would give me roughly 1.27 seconds on my GCD. Allowing for human reaction time, the duration of a single mouse click, down time in battle, and all the other spells we utilize, how many more casts will you realistically gain during a typical boss fight? Remember, you’re spending 5 talent points to earn those “extra” casts.

The down falls of GotE are these. First and fore most, it costs up to 5 talent points. With living seed, revitalize, natural perfection, etc, already begging for talent points, is 3 tenths of a second really THAT noticeable. Second, GotE reduces your base global cooldown ONLY after you cast rejuvenation, lifebloom or Wild Growth. If you throw a nourish or a swiftmend in there, you’re going to have to wait the full GCD to cast again. Third, GotE deals in tenths of a second… no matter how you slice it. Are you that precise with your casts that you can utilize those tenths every time in real WoW situations?

In my opinion, Gift of the Earthmother is looking more and more like its headed for the customer service returns line. There’s certainly a place for this talent with under geared druids who have little haste and need to stick to spell power and spirit gems if they’re going to raid successfully. But if you’re an established raiding tree, have the means to even consider approaching the haste “cap” and are considering this talent, I would advise you to pass on it unless you absolutely do not want revitalize, natural perfection, living seed, and living spirit.

Just one tree’s opinion.

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