Thursday, January 21, 2010

Resto Druid Haste "Cap"

Back in June I blogged about GotE and how I felt it may not be worth the 5 talent points it requires. My opinions left me alone in the woods, so to speak, as most everybody else was singing the praises of the resto druid haste “cap”. Oh well… C’est la vie… to each his own… it takes different strokes… etc... etc... Stubbornly, my build left GotE on the cutting room floor and life went on (as it tends to do).

Then, something wonderful happened. Patch 3.3 came along, and with it came a change to GotE! Now, instead of only reducing the GCD on 3 measly spells, Gift of the Earthmother increases our haste rating by up to 10% on ALL casts! That’s pretty sweet, if you ask me… although nobody did. With this patch I changed my build, spent my 5 talent points, and joined the ranks of druids everywhere singing the praises of the Earthmother’s generous gift… or so I thought.

Surfing the interwebs, dropping in to see my favorite bloggers, and popping over to elitist jerks to check out the math, I started to notice a trend. People weren’t as excited about the change as I was… not even close. The word ‘nerf’ actually showed up a few times in the same sentence as GotE, and instinctively my head shook out the question “why?” How could a straight haste buff be worse than a silly little GCD cooldown on three spells?

The culprit was that damned haste “cap” everybody was so in love with pre-3.3. It had gone up… way up… to over 800 to be exact (including raid buffs). Now, I’m not one to take pleasure in other people’s suffering, but, when I saw the number ‘856’, part of me smiled and thought “woo hoo the haste cap is out of reach so I won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

Reality check. Not only was the haste cap very much in reach, but people actually started gemming for it… even re-speccing for it! Has the world gone crazy?

In a word, yes… at least in my opinion (which will most certainly land me in the minority again). Celestial Focus, the talent which gives 3% more haste to a boomkin (lowering the haste cap to 735 for resto druids), is 18 points deep in the balance tree. That means to get it, we must take at least 4 points out of our current builds (I would have to move 7 points) and give up some VERY good talents in the resto tree (talents like Living Seed and Empowered Touch) in the process. Needless to say, it’s quite the endeavor to reach the haste “cap” and I can’t help but believe that it’s not really worth it.

Look at it this way, giving up spell power and crit (if you’re gemming for haste) and knocking down the healing power of Nourish and Healing Touch (two spells you likely use in dire situations and should want to heal as big as possible) just to be able to toss a Rejuv on two more toons before your first Rejuv wears off seems ludicrous to me.

I personally have no problem HoTing up an entire 10 man or half of a 25 with my current haste rating (610). More haste would obviously have a positive affect on my casting speed, but it would also have a negative affect on my casting power where it’s need most (single target damage spikes).

I'm not saying haste is bad (it's not). I'm not sayin crit is better (it isn't). What I am saying is you should not stack haste at the expense of your build and your other stats. If you have the choice between two pieces of gear and the decision boils down to haste vs. crit THEN you can talk about "caps", GCDs, and such. But if you're standing in Dal, looking at your character screen trying to figure out if you have enough gem slots to get your haste rating over 700, you need to re-evaluate your stat priorities.


  1. To what effect does Nature's grace have on haste rating? It is a talent that allows resto Druids to gain 20% more spell haste right? I could be wrong but if you crit nourish 1 of 3 times you should constantly have 20% more spell haste right? Is that still involved in the soft cap? Or is 856 without celestial focus including that proc from that talent? Which if you crit 33% of the time u save urself having to gem all that haste? My haste rating is 553 and I haven't had any issues topping heal meters in 10 and 25 man ICC groups, mainly by this crit proc talent... Any input?

  2. Nature's Grace is a great tank or single target talent to take and, like you said, could theoretically proc continuously while you spam Nourish. It's also a talent you'll need to pick up on your way to celestial focus if that's the build you choose.

    The reason it's not included in the soft cap (or in my build), is because it doesn't proc off of rejuv crits (if you have the set bonus) or the "bloom" off lifebloom, and therefore has little affect on our instant cast GCDs.

    Nature's grace ends up being a very situational talent as you have to crit first with a nourish, regrowth, or healing touch, and then can only enjoy your 1 second GCD on rejuv (or other instant casts) for the next three seconds.

    Trying to keep the proc up while casting rejuv in between not only increases your time spent casting (opposite effect of what we're looking for) but it's also not very mana efficient.

    Like I said, Nature's Grace is excellent for tank and single target builds, but for HoT trees, it's three points spent in a very situational talent.

  3. Ok when I think about it that way maybe I should bring up my idea for a spec. I realize as of 3.3 things have changed for haste and as I manage now, I am first for healing meters 95% of the time with a 553 haste rating and a 14-0-57 spec shown here:

    I use Glyph of Wild Growth, Glyph of Nourish, and Glyph of Rejuvenation which I find best for hps and 2 healing fights which require alot of heals spammed although I like constructive criticism, so let me know what you think.

    Another spec I am considering trying is a 18-0-53 spec I haven't seen anywhere else so far...

    This is from my experience of the rate in which other talents proc and if its worth the point over the ones I use more often. Living Seed is a good talent but whenever I assist with tank healing I spam nourish and toss a few HoT's which works amazing regardless of haste right now because of Nature's Grace and I do crit often enough to keep it going 95% of the time. It's basicallly the best I can keep to the spec I have now as well as use celestial focus.

    Any opinion on if I'm forgettting something? A better spec? And this is in the hope that the gear I get from here on is more haste associated and gemming for it if needed until I hit the soft cap.

  4. And what is your opinion of Revitalize as a talent, I find it procs rarely, but still would like to hear your thoughts.

  5. I'll try to tackle your questions one at a time, though I'm fairly certain I won't be telling you anything you don't already know (and we're diving deeper into theory crafting here, so I'll try to keep my answers as short as I can).

    First is your current build. If you cast Nourish a lot (which I'm guessing you do) and you're not having mana issues (with zero points in tranquil spirit) then I have no qualms with your 14/0/57. I'd suggest moving that third point in revitalize (simply because you don't use Glyph of Wild Growth) into Living Seed instead to maximize your direct healing output (which is always nice for two healing and hybrid tank/raid healing).

    Second, your glyph choices are hard to argue against (mainly because from what I've read I'm certain you do more than a fair amount of tank healing in your raids). I won't bother telling you to consider Glyph of Wild Growth vs. Glyph of Rejuvenation 1. because I'm fairly sure you've already done so and 2. because GoR (imo) is the right choice for two healing and/or hybrid tank/raid healing.

    Third, (not to be argumentative, but) your Celestial Focus build is basically what I was trying to argue against in this blog post. You're giving up revitalize (not a big loss in my opinion, but points that could be spent in Natural Perfection for 2% more crit) as well as Living Seed (a great talent for Nourish users) for a waisted point in Brambles (tanks simply don't need the boost to aggro/dmg in end game) and 3% haste.

    Now, I don't know your stats, style, raid group, or healing role (all huge factors in choosing a build) so I won't sit here and tell you that a 1 sec GCD is waisted on a Nourish user who's proccing Nature's Grace every 3 seconds. For all I know you could be spamming Rejuv for 40% of your heals and growing tired of waiting for that GCD to come around. So take my opinions or leave 'em. It's ultimately what ends up working best for you.

  6. Revitalize is a good not great talent for raids with plenty of energy and runic power users. With 3 points in the talent, you're looking at basically 1 revitalize proc from each Rejuv cast. Whether that proc ends up being useful to your raid mates is rather hit or miss though.

    Essentially, if you stood and cast nothing but Rejuv on every rogue, cat, and DK in your raid, never letting it fall off, you'd be giving them roughly 24 energy or 48 runic power per minute. In a static, theory crafting environment that would most certainly equal a damage/dps increase for those toons, though probably not very much.

    I've talked to a few of my guildies and none of them seem to notice the procs (when I had the talent) or a loss in dps (after I got rid of it), so I take that to mean Revitalize is a skippable talent (especially with some nice crit, haste, and/or mana saving talents to consider).

  7. Basically I'm in a spot where I use nourish alot because of the fact of Nature's Grace turning nourish from a 1.17sec cast time to 0.972 cast time. The problem I have now is that IF I change out my gear I lose out on a set bonus from 2 pieces of tier 9 (Nourish +5% crit) as well as losing some crit on gear for haste, but seeing as I am under that soft cap (553) I thought if I lost that crit it would be better for me to get back into celestial focus and drop living seed for more raid healing and ultimately reaching that soft haste cap of 735 instead of 856 which for me thats still almost 200 haste. I started already a bit by changing out Luminous Ametrine's for Reckless Ametrine's (-10 Int for +10 Haste per gem) and so, in your opinion, do you think that celestial focus is not a good thing for me considering I could end up losing my crit in the end? Hence dropping both Revitalize and Living Seed and having one extra point for 1% extra crit....for more haste? I agree it seems hard to do but this transition to patch 3.3 and better gear seems the end it's Crit > Haste which has been answered by many as 'No'...why do they seem to make it harder on druids....

  8. Another thought would be to drop Empowered Touch as well and and put 3 points into crit for both raid healing haste (GCD) and keeping crit high enough for time I do spam nourish (basically a panic button for raid healers)....any thoughts?

  9. I could be wrong here but I've looked at some of the tier 10 resto gear and it seems to have more crit on it anyway...

  10. That T9 set bonus is still a good one. (I 've made a stubborn effort to keep it, though lately I've been considering breaking it to see how I like the T10 4 set bonus.)

    If you give the set bonus up, drop living seed, take only 1 point in Natural Perfection, and set your sights on the haste "cap", I honestly believe you will be missing your crits.

    You'll be casting your HoTs faster (blanketing the raid with Rejuv easier), but you'll be losing a lot of pop on the spells you count on to be there when it matters most (direct healing spells). I know of no resto druids who spam Rejuv when a raid member is near death, and I don't imagine you'll want to be the first.

    I've said it before (in previous rants) and I'll say it now, the haste soft cap is a change of less than 2/10ths of a second for your rejuv spams (and only your rejuv spams). Those two tenths are not worth the crit, mana or living seed cost, in my humble opinion.

    Dropping Empowered Touch may be a better solution for you (again I can only guess. You're the only one who'll know if your build is meeting your raid's needs), but my gut says "screw the soft cap."

    Your haste rating of 553 is already giving you deminished returns on Nature's Grace (because your .972 second Nourish cast times are being clipped by the GCD which can never go below 1.0 second) plus that's more than enough haste to Rejuv blanket a 10 man raid with no trouble at all.

    Players can theory craft, crunch numbers, talk hps, all they like, but the simple greatest measuring stick in this game is the question "Am I getting the job done?"

  11. I agree 100% that it is worth keeping an eye on crit over raising to haste cap immediately and I am going to try both the tier 10 set of 2 bonus with the tier 9 set of 2 bonus and with a few more upgrades and some gems I think I will be able to have to best of both worlds, keeping most of my crit and get close enough to haste cap to not notice a huge difference either way. I very much appreciate you replying to my ranting, glad to have another that speaks out against the haste cap. Cheers man and thanks again.

    I'll let you know how it turns out as soon as I get it all set up.

  12. One more question, I have read somewhere that a way to look at what your GCD is it, is to look a the base cast time of Nourish and mine says 1.12 so assuming that is correct I this haste cap is only going to lower it by 0.12s? What alot to give up! IF it is true then I can cast rejuve 8 times in 8.96s, and adding in human error that is still around 8 casts per 10 seconds. And when i spam nourish at the end of the cast i can pop rejuve and life bloom in 3 seconds? To me now after all this information the reason I would get more haste is basically to make nourish a shorter cast as well as lowering GCD and try to keep as much crit as possible to allow for this.

  13. 25 Progression

    i out heal the better geared resto druid in my guild 7k to 5k on fester 25 man reg mode by focusing on haste haste haste

    He is a spellpower build and cant come close to keeping up

    10s etc idk i'm 11/12 and fail on LK due to DPS issues not heals..... haste cap=win

    At work cant delve deeper but i rarely, if ever, get beat on meters..... bear in mind i'm strictly raid heals, hardly do much with tanks at all

  14. what is your current haste ratting at if you are able to out hps a better geared resto druid im at 545 right now with 3300 sp with my flask of frost wyrm with the t10 4set. I just want another insight as to the haste cap. ive seen in some posts that if we are spec'd into CF and GotE its said taht 541 for the gcd of 1s and ive yet to see this unless i have NG proc then my nourish is at like .92s to cast. What would be the correct amount of haste to have nourish itself at 1s without the proc of NG, my thinking is with NG regrowth becomes a valuable go to heal for the extended HoT.

  15. i would completely agree that it was a nerf. with the original, you had reduced global cooldowns. this reduction benefitted you far more than the increased haste does. if you had enough haste, it would be the same thing, but the way they changed only 10%.. made it a nerf compared to what it was.

  16. I guess it really depends on your play style. I primarily cast exactly two spells as many times as I can for entire fights - Rejuv and Wild Growth. There is almost no reason to cast anything else, because those two spells are instant, allowing movement, and give you the most bang for your buck (in this case, healing for mana). In my situation, hitting the haste cap is WAY better than crit, or even spellpower in some ways. At about 3.2K SP, my Rej/WG spam can take care of any perpetual raid damage in ICC without having to think about it, even in heroics. This is mostly because I'm at the haste cap, and so the number of people I can get to with my Rej before I have to go back and refresh them is much greater. If I use WG on the melee, and then start spamming Rej on the ranged, I am easily doing my Raid Healing job and I have mana to spare if there is some dire situation with the tanks. I have never used Healing Touch in a raid, and I have only ever recently used Nourish on the Valithria Dreamwalker fight.

  17. Supholmes- US-DalaranSeptember 24, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    It is totally a skill factor. The fact you beat a Spellpower stacker rarely has anything to do with haste. I stack spellpower and have 572 haste with 3650 spellpower unbuffed. The other druid in our guild is around the same Gearscore as me and is haste capped at 850 and i kick his ass on BQL Heroic by almost 4k HPS. It is mainly the skill of the player.