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.