Alright, alright, so maybe I have a teeny tinyobsessionwithdebating 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?