With Patch 7.2 coming on March 28, 2017, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of changes that are affecting Restoration Druids. This is my first time writing an article like this, and feedback is greatly appreciated - even if it's just to say whether or not you want to see articles like this for every patch. As usual, you can tweet @PrestonDvorak or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
There are quest and content spoilers ahead, proceed with caution if you want to avoid them!
Patch 7.2: Tomb of Sargeras releases on March 28, 2017.
Many legendary items are receiving updates to increase their throughput or make their effects more consistent. Below are my initial thoughts about the items changing for Restoration Druids. (official source)
Sephuz's is being changed to have static 10% movement speed and 2% haste. This is in addition to the old proc effect from applying loss of control effects, dispelling, or interrupting. This change makes it more useful on a lot of boss fights where triggering the proc effect was impossible or hard to use in an ideal way. I'm a sucker for movement speed increases, too, so you can bet I'll be messing around with this ring and Feral Affinity.
Ekowraith now has haste as a third secondary stat. This took an already decent legendary and made it a bit better. It's still not a huge throughput boost compared to other legendary items, but the utility aspect has always made it something I've been interested in testing.
Titan's Advice now has a 5% chance to proc Lifebloom's "bloom" healing every time it heals, which of course still heals for 200% more. You probably see the theme here, this takes a decent single-target healing legendary and makes it a bit better. It gives an opportunity for the 200% increased bloom healing to come into play more often.
X'oni's now also reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 20%, in addition to its previous effect. This gives the opportunity to use the effect more often, and coupled with our Stonebark talent reduces Ironbark's cooldown to a mere 48-seconds.
Essence of Infusion now causes Tranquility to heal players for 60% more when they're below 60% health. This helps the legendary apply to more situations, but I still feel it'll remain best on fights where the extra Tranquility healing is really needed to keep people alive.
Aman'Thul's received a full redesign and now causes your Rejuvenation (and Germination) to have their duration increased by 3-seconds (up to a maximum of 15-seconds) each time they heal a full health target. This brings it more inline with how Druid healing works by no longer requiring you cast heals on full health targets to use the effect.
The Tearstone is the only legendary that received a nerf. Wild Growth now has a 15% chance to proc Rejuvenation, down from 20%. This drops the ring performance down to be closer to the other legendary items, however, I don't see it knocking the ring out of the best in slot spot.
The Drape of Shame from Karazhan is being decreased from 10% increased critical healing to 5%. This was unexpected given Blizzard's stance on trinkets like the Unstable Arcanocrystal, where they recognized it was too powerful for it's item level but opted to let it drop out of use naturally. Given that the Drape of Shame's effect was worth as much as 50 item levels (exact worth varied based on other gear), it's likely a lot of healers would have stopped using it in Tomb of Sargeras anyway. However, with Karazhan now being available on Mythic+ keystones, it will be possible to get a high item level version of the Drape. So, if you're lucky enough it's still an attractive option at the right item level! (official source)
You can use this macro (originally from the Druid Discord) to see what item level a new cloak would need to be before it's better than your Drape of Shame. I've modified it for the new 5% effect. As an example: If it prints "Effect: 26 Total: 891" in your chat, you would need a cloak with at least an 891 item level before it would be better than your currently equipped Drape of Shame.
/script local x,a,b,c,d,l,i;x=GetInventoryItemLink("player",15);a,b,c,d=GetItemInfo(x);l=0;x=GetCritChance()/100;i=GetSpellBonusDamage(4)*0.05*x/(x+1);while true do i=i-9.44-l*0.474;if i>0 then l=l+1;else print("Effect:", l, "Total:",l+d);break;end end
The previous "infinite" artifact trait that increased healing by incremental percentage amounts is being changed to only have one rank that increases healing by 5%. To give us something new to work towards, there's a new set of traits to unlock after completing the The Broken Shore: Investigating the Legion quest line on the Broken Shore. Completing these quests empowers your artifact weapon and unlocks a new, smaller trait tree, as well as gives the option of increasing previous 3-point traits to 4-points.
The new traits include:
This trait ensures we don't lose any throughput from the change to the previous infinite trait. The boost to damage done and health is a nice bonus, too.
This trait makes our Essence of G'hanir even better, and extends its total duration to 14 seconds. A solid trait overall as we can use Essence of G'hanir often in most content.
This trait increases Efflorescence's healing done to targets the longer they stay in your Efflorescence, up to 20% more. This trait is okay, and will see the biggest benefit in raid content.
This trait causes our heal over time effects to refresh automatically when they heal a target below 35% health. This trait seems situational, but one of druid's weaknesses is handling critical damage when we don't have cooldowns available. The best example of this is in Mythic+ when we need to spam healing on the tank and can't necessarily refresh our heals on other targets - this trait could be the refresh we need. Overall, I see the biggest benefit being tank healing, they're the most likely to drop below 35% health in most cases.
This is the new infinite trait, and instead of being a flat healing increase like the previous infinite trait, it's now a proc that increases your intellect for an amount based on how many points you have in the trait. Resto Druids are lucky because we do okay with proc effects. We generally always have healing effects out, so the proc will never completely go to waste.
I'll do a more detailed analysis once 7.2 is out, as well as update my artifact path guide when I've had time to simulate some of the traits.
Completing the solo dungeon challenge for Restoration Druids will unlock a new artifact appearance and set of tints. Unlocking the solo dungeon will take a bit of work. You must be level 110, have all 35 traits purchased in your artifact weapon, complete the quests to empower your artifact and unlock the new 7.2 traits, and finally you must construct the Mage Tower on the Broken Shore. Once you meet all of these criteria, a new quest will be available at the Mage Tower that continues your class campaign and culminates in you taking part in the solo challenge dungeon. (official source)
Once I've unlocked the solo dungeon, you can expect to see videos and guides on completing it!
While not coming immediately in 7.2, a new tier set will be released with the Tomb of Sargeras raid. This particular set is modeled after the Tier 6 set from the Black Temple raid in Burning Crusade, with several re-colors, high-res textures, and special effects on the Mythic version. Note: some of the effects weren't working quite right in Wowhead's model viewer, but it should give you an idea!
All classes are receiving a short quest line in 7.2 that rewards a mount unique to their class, with many having colors or effects unique to each spec. Druids are getting a special Lunarwing flight form, with different colors per-race, that can be ridden by other players, much like the current ground travel form.
Also unique to Druids is the flight form will count as a mount in your journal and towards mount collection achievements, while still retaining the benefits of being a "form" (instant-cast, immune to polymorphs). Unfortunately, it will not benefit from the flight speed increase from the Pathfinder achievement. (official source)
After completing The Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part Two, the acquisition quest line starts with the quest Talon's Call and takes you through recovering the Idol of Aviana, the source of druid's flying ability. After completing the quests, you'll be able to turn the Lunarwing form on and off by talking to Skycaller Faeb in the Order Hall. Turning it off returns you to the normal flight form.
Blizzard has started updating visual and sound effects for spells in 7.2. A handful of Restoration Druid spells received updates: Moonfire, Sunfire, Lunar Strike (requires Balance Affinity), and Efflorescence. I put together a short video previewing all of the new effects.
In addition to content specific to Restoration Druids, there is a ton of new playable content being added to the game. I won't have detailed explanations here, but I wanted to at least mention everything.
The Tomb of Sargeras is a nine boss raid instance coming sometime after the release of 7.2. Over the next several weeks I'll be adding boss guides to the site, so be sure to check back!
The Cathedral of Eternal Night is a new dungeon coming with the release of 7.2. It includes Heroic, Mythic, and Mythic+ versions and finishes the story you started on the Broken Shore, culminating in a fight against Mephistroth.
The Broken Shore is making a come back in 7.2! We're taking the fight back to the Legion and this time we successfully setup a stronghold on the island. This opens up several new features:
Paragon Reputation is an extension of the existing reputation system. For every 10,000 reputation you earn with Legion factions after exalted, you're given a satchel. These satchels can include mounts and toys unique to each faction.
You continue to earn paragon reputation the same way you did on your way to exalted, including with story quests and world quests.
There are even more, smaller features coming, including:
You can see all of the changes in Blizzard's official 7.2 patch notes.