Is Haste a Waste?
Alright, alright, so maybe I have a teeny tiny obsession with debating crit and haste. But can you blame me? You usually have to choose one at the expense of another, so I'm always curious and fascinated by what people choose for their healers and why. I've gone from crit obsessed to haste obsessed to somewhere in-between and back again, never able to be completely decisive about it. I dislike crit on principle, but.... Surge of Light is all shiny and I am drawn in like Bella to a shirtless sparkly sunlit Edward. *sparkle!!*

Therefore, I've been poring through all my favorite resto druid blogs reading about thoughts on the upcoming changes in 3.3 for druids in regards to haste. I warn you ahead of time that I am by no means an expert on Druids, and I'm almost positive that my Druid readers are going to have to set me right on a lot of my thoughts... but that is exactly the sort of feedback I'm hoping to get!

ETA: If you are looking for some interesting blog posts that resto druids have been posting lately on the topic, I recommend some Rolling Hots, Dreambound, some tricksy maths from Forrestump, and Restokin has some really helpful PTR testing - for the record, the way I understand it, Haste will both decrease the time between ticks on HoTs, AS WELL AS the total time the HoT ticks - therefore, with the Rapid Rejuvenation Glyph, you will not be getting MORE ticks to your HoTs, just faster ones. If this is wrong, please correct me!

Haste vs Crit for Druids

One of the things that has always confused me is the lack of viability for Haste and Crit for Druids. Before anyone rips me apart for saying that (be gentle, I'm not a druid myself!), I don't mean that these stats are useless for Druids, but merely that they seem to be a lot less useful for Druids than they are for other healing classes. As a Holy Priest, I can completely justify stacking either one sky high, though if I were to crunch the numbers, I may come up with good reasons to put a soft cap on either one. Since a lot of Druid heals are quickie casts, if not instant, then Haste really only seemed to matter up until GCD cap. And, since HoTs can't crit (unless you've got the T9 4piece set bonus, of course), Crit seemed kinda blah as well.

Ever since the changes to Shadowform for Priests, allowing DoTs to crit while in Shadowform, I've been wondering why HoTs can't crit while in Tree form. I see Druids on the whole, more than any other healing class, stack spellpower at the expense of haste and crit, because for other healers, those two latter stats seem stronger (I'm somewhat guessing here, I'll have to ask Codi over at MoarHPS to come over and beat me over the head with her calculator in order to have any maths to back any of this theorizing up). I'm sure some balancing would be necessary if HoTs were allowed to crit, but at the same time, that would mean Druids would stack more crit than they currently do, which would inevitably mean less spellpower as well.

Broadening the Niche? Should HoTs come closer to burst healing?

Another thing that intrigues me is that it seems as though the developers don't know how to get Druids to use crit and haste, and they are trying different things, and using different tools to test it - but with the same spell, Rejuvenation. First they try tinkering with a set bonus to see if Druids would be too OP with critting HoTs, and now it looks like they will try something similar with a glyph in 3.3.

I'm not impressed with the glyph, myself. I can see why many think it's very exciting, but to me, it's a bit similar in theory to Glyph of Renew - which I've always found stupid. If I wanted more healing in a shorter period of time, i.e. more burst... why wouldn't I just cast Flash Heal? The faster HoTs tick, the less time they are buffering... I'm not sure if that really IS a great thing.

Between the T9 set bonus for Druids, and the upcoming Glyph addition, I suspect that Blizz still hasn't figured out for sure how they want to handle some of the stat streamlining they are bringing in in Cataclysm. It feels like they are using the posterkids for HoTs as a way to test out how different stats might work with HoTs. I don't think this is a bad thing, for the record - I just found it interesting enough to bring it up. I suspect that if the changes work well for Druids, without breaking class balance, we may see all HoTs and DoTs for all classes being affected by both crit and haste in Cataclysm - or at least, with certain talents.

I'm still not sure if I like that or not... by speeding up the effect of HoTs and DoTs, it just brings them closer to being burst healing or burst damage in the first place, and eventually (taken to the extreme), it may completely degrade and diminish the niche, power, and value of *-over time effects.

BUT - Perhaps I'm just thinking about it too much. What say you?
15 Responses
  1. Christine Says:

    Oh wow! My apologies about the comment issue on my blog! I thought I set my comment moderation that anyone can comment as I put it on "never" instead of "always" my bad guys! now its saved that anyone can comment on my blog. sorry again! thanks for dropping by my blog and happy posting!

    Anyway, about the debate between haste vs crit issue as for druids (correct me if im wrong dont know and never played druid at all) but i think they have 3 or 2 reasons why both can be beneficial to them or not. especially either if there are roling as resto spec or boomkin spec. more likely they also benefit from having spirit O.O or i would say spell power and haste together is better? than having crit? really no idea. >.<

    As Holy priest I still prefer haste over crit. but lately I noticed some priest is stacking lots of crits dont know why? >.< instead i prefer spell power > haste> spirit, int generally is already based stats. oh well correct me if im wrong.

    3.3 all i know they are all focused on haste and int and spell power. but you see its still debatable until now between haste and crit issue ill look into more on this too >.<.

    apologized for my post but making me confused myself jess LOL!

  2. Christine Says:

    oh! and for me Haste is never a waste!

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    My understanding is that a newer Healer (probably of the Priest & Paladin variety) should focus more on Crit, SP, & Int before really looking at Haste as a valid option. The reasoning behind this is that newly dinged healers have a longevity problem and could possibly run OOM towards the end of the fight; this is only exasterbated by stacking haste.

    Once you start replacing your gear, having a more balanced approach to Haste & Crit is just sexy. I'm still in the "replacement" phase of all of this and I have very little haste. When I have borrowed time up, Holy Cow... the Flash Heals & the Gheals flow like water. Fuglralis says that Haste is a warlock's crack and I can see that now ;)

    As for Druids and this problem? I agree with the above poster regarding Spirit. I've always seen Gobs of Spirit on Leather. If HoT's can't crit, then I can maybe see Haste over-ruling that. Haste is still pretty nice even for instant casts (MOAR BUBBLES FASTER NAO! kthxbi).

    I'm actually just pulling that answer out of my ass :D

  4. Kotakh Says:

    Resto druid dont really care for Crit or Haste. We want moar spellpower.

    Once haste is at the soft cap we"ll take any piece who's an upgrade in spellpower, wether than new piece has crit or haste is irrelevant.

    Blizz is talking about changing GotEM in 3.3 tho and that will most likely makes a huge difference for us. We'll need a lot more haste to reach the 1 sec GCD.

  5. The only real grumble that I have with Blizzard "testing" how things will play out on the live servers is that as new things become more important, we all the sudden have to re-evaluate all of our gear and often times make pretty significant changes.

    I find this fairly annoying. I know we aren't the only classes effected, but having to "change" your way of thinking every 4-5 months and re-theory craft everything is a bit of a drag. Honestly, I think they can't really figure out exactly what to do with the resto druid. I envision a guy closing his eyes and blindly through a dagger at a dart board: "Haste! We will do something with haste this time! You are off the hook LifeblooM!".

  6. Kayllnn Says:

    Yeah 1 second GCD. You are sort of right Jess, us druids want haste to get reduce our GCD. But with the emphasis lately on nourish many druids are stacking haste picking up the glyph putting their talents in their, and becoming a pretty decent MT and a freaking awesome OT healer.

    There are sort of two types of druids. Ones that are hard core raid healers who want more spell power and haste cap, with crit being whatever until T9. The other type is the, I wanna be a tank healer and prove everyone wrong. Which is fine, nourish is an awesome spell for tank healing so, crit is very important to those types of druids. Haste also affects nourish and regrowth and these spells are important to these tank healers, and I think many druids are taking this approach lately. So I don't think druids QQ over it really, they just have preferences on play style and what they want to do as a healer, so the stats aren't useless and like you said are becoming even more attractive.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the new glyph says that haste can affect the time between rejuv's ticks, it does not say it reduces the overall time of the heal, or the amount of the heal, just that it will heal more often. This to me is very different than the priest glyph so looking kinda exciting to me!

  7. Pyoska Says:

    You are correct, haste is only useful to druids until the soft hastecap for the 1 second GCD/Nourish cast. GotEM, however, was rendering stacking haste useless due to the 20% reduced GCD- which is getting 'fixed.' We'll see about that. And crit is ok for druids, but thats only because we like seeing 15k Swiftmend crits. Maybe that's just me....

  8. To everyone, I added an ETA with some links to other bloggers (druids) who have been discussing the topic. So, @Kayllnn, if I understand the things I've been reading correctly, it will reduce the overall time for the HoT as well as time between ticks. You don't get more ticks, just faster ones.

    @fallingleavesandtwigs Well I guess it's good that it's just a glyph then... then at least if you don't want to use it, you don't have to... although I guess even then you'd be trying to optimize different sets of gear and AHHHHHH brain freeze

  9. Kayllnn Says:

    Ok, so after reading Ghostcrawlers comments on this, it will definitely be a hard choice dor resto druids in particular. This means they have to refresh their HoTs more often, while for locks and SP who cares about the mana for extra dps, druids will have a touch choice, mana management in healing is important so... we will see.

    My guess is, druids who ONLY tank heal will probably not take this glyph, I mean if that is their main goal to be a tank healer, they won't want to waste mana on renewing this buffer on the HoT that much extra.

    Raid healing druid will all probably test it out, if they aren't having mana issues with it, they will probably keep it, they just have to be more aware of their rejuv in order to refresh when necessary.

    I hope Blizz doesn't take the whole point of HoTs away by doing this, we already had nourish introduced to us, they need to be careful because I like my healing niche as a druid, and I have my shaman if I want big crit heals. So I hope they don't play around too much and make the druids too different.

  10. Mongrr Says:

    On the Disc Priest side of things, I will never go so far as to say that Haste is a waste... but personally, there are other stats I would go for first.

    Don't get me wrong... I feel that *some* haste is needed, but it's not a stat I build my gear around.

    At the current place the game is in, If I had to choose between two pieces of gear that were identical other than one having Haste and the other Crit... I would opt for the Crit piece over the haste piece.

    The more I crit, the more free shiny damage mitigating bubbles that pop up. Since Disc is much better at Single Target Healing vs the AoE side of things, having high crit can seriously up the amount of healing you are able to pump into that Target, especially if you factor in all the Disc Talents that add to crit when targets have Weakened Soul, or at lower health.

    I am in no way saying that I think stacking haste is bad... it's just not what I opt to go for, based on personal preference and the way I choose to play.

    I like to keep my haste high enough so that my Flash Heal is ~1 second cast, but I don't stress over it.

    I think it's pretty obvious by the number of different responses to the Healing Questionairre recently that there is certainly not one specific "right" way to play a class... which is why I enjoy the game so much.

  11. moarhps Says:

    *readies calculator!* ;D

    @ Fuubar: That used to be true, but it doesn't seem to be nearly as much anymore, with how easy it is to gear now. My gear on my priest is -unbelievable- crap (PuG wouldn't let me heal heroic 5-mans in it!), but I still can heal ToC-10 just fine. The playing field seems to be very different now.

    @ fallingleaves: I'll admit it... I love that I keep having to take out my spreadsheets and rethink everything. LOL I mean, you have to work the math on the new tier bonuses -anyway,- let's just redo everything else while we're at it, right?! :P

    @ Jessabelle:

    To be specific, the only time a Tree should gem for anything but spellpower is for a metagem, really. You -can- do sp/spirit if the socket bonus is spellpower, but going for any haste/spirit/crit/MP5 bonus tends to be a waste since there's lots of it on the gear.

    In the current scheme, Trees are getting their softcap on haste and then going crit, because the T9 bonus is so insanely good. They'll even regularly drop a couple of pieces with Spirit for a nice haste/crit piece. (Much as they tried, mana is so easy to get at higher ilevels.) Sometimes they'll even take MP5 pieces over spirit ones if the ilevel is higher, for more spellpower. Really, the only stat currently that is being stacked -is- spellpower.

    I've seen the numbers on the new 3.3 haste softcap and it's much, much, MUCH higher. (735 with 3/3 Celestial Focus and 856 without [with Ele shaman and Ret pally/Boomkin, of course]) So what will most likely come with the change is that Trees will be pretty much be geared to the teeth in either spirit/haste gear with a couple of haste/crit pieces thrown in. The tier bonuses are very, very "meh," so they'll probably take only the haste pieces of it.

    re: the glyph - It sounds like an interesting one, considering how high Trees will be stacking haste in 3.3. It'll depend on the fight, of course. They'll probably just end up bringing it a long with their other glyphs, switching it in for single-target hard DoT fights. Everyone switches glyphs for each fight anyway, so it'll just be another to keep a stack of.

  12. Kayllnn Says:

    Oh one thing I forgot to mention Jess, the rejuvenation spell is having it's duration increased from 12 seconds to 15 seconds in the patch. So maybe this is Blizz's way to not punish us too much on stacking the haste. I wouldn't know the numbers but it seems like you would have to stack a crap ton of haste to get the spell back to the 12 seconds we are use to already right?

  13. kungaloosh Says:

    As a Druid that heals fairly often, I'm excited about the new Rejuv glyph combined with the 4T9 bonus since tossing Rejuv on everyone during a raid before splash damage phases is a big part of my healing structure. I hope it isn't TOO good because I'd really like to give the 2T9 set bonus a try for the Wild Growth change.

    Very awesome non-meme and it seems you've gotten quite a bit of feedback on it. Awesome job!


  14. moarhps Says:

    @Kaylln: Rejuv has been 15 secs for the entirety of WotLK. For awhile Blizzard was going to nerf it down to 12 seconds (pre-WotLK duration), but decided against it in light of the GotEM changes.

  15. Kayllnn Says:

    WoW that shows how much I pay attention to my spells, I am the worst druid ever, I just replace it when it falls off lol. I should just stop thinking about healing.

    Well the last rank of rejuv is 15 seconds, I guess they are making every rank of rejuv 15 seconds, either way it isn't going to be an issue for me time wise, I think most raiders can handle the mana for it. Plus with Nature's Splendor it is 18 seconds, so maybe Blizz figures Blizz figures we can handle shaving seconds off for extra tics.

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