The first in our series in using World of Logs to analyze healing, the purpose of this article is to provide basic to intermediate considerations for Restoration Druid healing through a World of Logs report. The idea is to provide you the means of understanding what to look for in a report so that you can help any Resto Druid’s you may know, including yourself, improve their game and thus help your raids succeed. It also a good idea to point them here so that they can self-analyze. If you have additional considerations, please share in a comment so that others may benefit from your knowledge. If you see anything that needs correcting or clarifying, please let us know. Check out the Discipline Priest and Shaman articles if you haven’t already.
Special thanks to the Restokin, Lissana, for proofing this information and expanding on 4.2 mastery considerations! Much love and thanks!
Uptimes for spells can be viewed by clicking on the specific healers name and then selecting the “Healing by spell” tab. It is important to note that uptime is not the only consideration behind assessing spells. Where that uptime is placed is equally important in considers. See ‘HoT Distribution’ below for further information and how to view HoT placement over the course of a fight.
- Lifebloom: should always be as close to 100% as possible, regardless of Druid’s specific assignment. It is vital that Lifebloom have a high uptime because its ticks proc Clearcasting, allowing for the Druid to cast a mana-free Regrowth or Healing Touch. UPDATE: It should also be noted that Lifebloom is required for Replenishment, provided by the Revitalize talent. In other words, a Druid’s Lifebloom provides a considerable source of mana to the rest of the raid.
- Wild Growth: should generally be above 50% uptime. Maximum possible uptime is 87.5% (7 second duration / 8 second cool down). This is a generalization but the reality is that a Druid should be aiming for higher and higher uptime with WG. The primary constraint with using WG on CD is mana. A Druid responsible for raid healing should definitely have a high WG uptime. Another consideration to not hitting maximum possible uptime is that sometimes it is beneficial to wait a few seconds to cast WG to better line up with known incoming damage. This is why a general guideline of 50% uptime is given.
- Rejuvenation: should be a fairly high uptime, preferably >75%. Being an expensive heal, it is easy to go OOM by using it too much. However, as a Druid gets better gear, they can use it more. As a result, the uptime of Rejuv should increase with gear and fight familiarity. It is important to note that a tank healing Druid receives a significant buff to Nourish (+10/20/30% casting speed) from the talent Nature’s Bounty by having at least 3 Rejuvs out. As such, a Druid covering tank or raid should have fairly high Rejuv uptime.
- Harmony: This is the Druid’s mastery buff and regardless of assignment is easy to keep up so should have as close to 100% uptime as possible. For the most part, a Druid who is doing things ‘right’ in terms of other spell usage will naturally have a high uptime for Harmony. Long gaps of not having Harmony active may indicate that the Druid is either not aware of their mastery mechanic (or that they are doing other things like DPS’ing on non-healing moments of fights).
- Regrowth: This is a highly variable spell in terms of its usage due to its high mana cost. For the most part, Druids only cast this when Clearcasting procs (from Lifebloom ticks). As a Druid gears up there is room for more Regrowth to be cast outside of Clearcasting, especially for harder fights (heroics) that have higher damage output. Because of the high mana cost, uptime of Regrowth can vary from as low as 20% to as high as 50%. The lower end is pretty much when only casting Regrowth on Clearcasting procs, while the higher is a quite liberal approach. It is important to know that a very high Regrowth uptime could indicate poor healing and that the Druid is likely running low if not out of mana. In my experience, very high would be >50%. Anywhere from 25-35% is a good range. After the mastery change in 4.2, if Regrowth is used as a quick way to prime the mastery, raid focused Druids may show a higher Regrowth uptime on tanks. Consequently, this may result in tank focused Druids having less Regrowth uptime on tanks as their normal use of Nourish/Healing Touch will keep the mastery primed.
- Swiftmend: ((Total hits + crits) * 15s) / (fight duration in seconds) = closer to 1 the better (and multiply by 100 if you want a percentage). This little formula allows for a rough but accurate calculation to determine how closely Swiftmend was used on cooldown. I am of the firm stance that Efflorescence talent should be taken and thus sometimes it is not conducive to drop a Efflorescence on Swiftmend on CD, instead using it based on predictable, known damage (like a meteor where you are stacked) or in planned situations (such as all 3 tanks on Heroic Halfus stacking together). Given this, Swiftmend usage can widely vary from as low as .3 (30%) to much higher. Fights where the raid is stacked a lot should expect to have a higher value, while fights where the raid is mostly spread out should expect a lower value. After the mastery change in 4.2, uptime for Swiftmend should be as close to 1 as possible for raid focused Druids, as this will be the primary spell for keeping the mastery buff up.
In conjunction with uptime, HoT distribution is important to take note of. Viewing when each HoT was cast and active throughout a fight can be viewed by clicking on the healers name and then selecting the “Buffs cast” tab. On the “Buffs cast” you will see a list of spells. The right-most column for each heal has a ‘#’ symbol. Clicking on this will add that spell’s data to a graph at the top of the page. You can add/remove as many spells as you would like. Once a spell is added to the top list, you can check/uncheck it to display on the overall graph. By expanding the spell downward, you can see where that spell was placed throughout the entire fight. Until you are comfortable with this view, you may only want to add 2 at a time to keep things less cluttered.
The following are key takeaways that you can use with this view for spell usage.
- Tree of Life: Lifebloom -> Clearcasting -> Regrowth: Add ToL, LB, and RG to view. You should see 3 things occurring in conjunction with Tree of Life. First, that Tree of Life is actually used. While a raid team on regular difficultly that is playing mechanics near perfectly and is well geared may not have an explicit need for Tree of Life, higher difficulties absolutely need it. The second is how Tree of Life is used: spamming Lifebloom and hitting Regrowth (instant in Tree of Life) on every clearcasting proc. With so many Lifebloom’s out, clearcasting procs come quickly allowing for liberal Regrowth use. This spell set has a lot to view so it is useful to view 2 spells at a time: (Tree + LB -> Tree + Clearcasting -> Tree + Regrowth). What you will see is more dense concentration of green on the upper graph. What you should expect to see is Lifeblooms on multiple targets during Tree, with a higher concentration of Clearcasting during this time, and thus a higher concentration of Regrowth. Getting Lifeblooms spread takes a little time and continues up to 10 seconds after Tree ends, so LB/CC/RG will be offset from Tree by 5-10 seconds. Some Druids prefer to spread Rejuvenation instead of Lifebloom while in Tree if mana is not of concern. It is purported that Tree+Rejuv spam is higher HPS though I do not have numbers to prove/disprove.
- Other Tree of Life Considerations – Wild Growth and Rejuvenation: Wild Growth is also buffed while in Tree of Life. In a 10m raid it is possible to cover all 10 players with Lifebloom and have 1 free GCD within that 10s to cast Wild Growth. Given WG is buffed to hit an additional 2 players for a total of 8, this is significant healing. As such, you should definitely see WG used on CD within Tree form. From another angle, if a Druid is specifically assigned to keep tanks up, then Tree of Life is optimally used at the beginning of the fight and then LBx3 on each tank, along with Rejuvenation and Regrowths on the tank. The benefits are massive given the 15% increased healing while in Tree. If a Druid is specifically assigned to tank healing for tank-heavy fights, there are usually a few GCDs available between keeping LB + Rejuv + RG + WG up to get a LB or two to a raid members. This is primarily to help increase Clearcasting procs thus allowing for keeping the Regrowth HoT on tanks up.
- Innervate: With Innervate on a 3 minute cooldown, it is able to be used multiple times within a single fight. You should be looking for Innervate to be used relatively early and then again almost on cooldown every 3 minutes. (NOTE: The following is PRE-4.2 only; POST-4.2, it is necessary that Druids cast Innervate only on themselves.) If your raid has more than 1 Resto Druid, you will want to ensure that 1) they are each glyphed for Innervated and 2) are Innervating each other. If you only have 1 Resto Druid then it is a matter of opinion and debate as to whether they should be glyphed and using it on someone else or otherwise.
- Nature’s Bounty: This is under the ‘Buffs gained’ tab. Assuming a Druid has the ‘Nature’s Bounty’ talent, an easy way to see if a Druid has at least 3 Rejuvenations out is with the Nature’s Bounty buff. A raid healing focused Druid will almost certainly always have 3x Rejuvs out but they will not necessarily focus on taking this talent as it is primarily a buff to tank healing. As such, a tank healing Druid can utilize this talent and subsequent buff to help increase tank healing HPS when damage is predictably high. It also acts to encourage a tank healing Druid to help heal the raid a little bit by having at least 3x Rejuvs out. On multi-tank fights, a tank focused healing Druid should have Rejuv on all tanks. There is no specific “uptime” target for Nature’s Bounty, just that if the talent is taken, one should expect to see the Druid actually utilizing the benefit of the talent. If a Druid has the Nature’s Bounty talent but you rarely if ever see it in the logs, then they are 1) not utilizing the talent to its full benefit and 2) aren’t using Rejuv enough in the first place.
- Rejuvenation: In conjunction with Nature’s Bounty above, Rejuv distribution is important. For raid focused healing, an even spread across the raid is expected, with the number of simultaneous Rejuvs dependent on the fight, gear, and number of other healers. For tank focused healing, a Rejuv should be on each of the tanks. It is generally projected that as gear increases, a Druid can use more and more Rejuvs as mana pool is larger and mana regen is higher. This should be evident in comparing a fight from month to month (ie. after a month of upgrades, assuming 2-4 pieces of upgraded gear, you should see a direct correlation from an increase in the number Rejuvs used).
These are in addition to the considerations detailed above for all the Druid’s HoT. A Druid should use all spells available to them, while individual spell usage will vary depending on whether the Druid is assigned to tank or raid healing.
- Tank healing: HoTs will always do the bulk of a Druid’s healing, even when a Druid is responsible for tank healing, which traditionally dictates lots of direct heals. Focusing on tank healing means that ‘downtime’ is focused on casting Nourish or Healing Touch on a tank instead of spreading Rejuv. You can roughly approximate the amount of time a Druid spends casting Nourish or HT by adding together all hits and crits for each spell, multiplying by 2s (this is the ‘rough’ part; I say 2 second cast per spell because of things like haste, Nature’s Grace, Nature’s Bounty cannot be accounted for; if a Druid is focused on maximizing Nature’s Grace, Nature’s Bounty, and has hit the 2005 haste rating break point then a more accurate number would likely be 1.8s), and then divide by the total length of the fight in seconds: ((Nourish(Hits+Crits) + HT(Hits+Crits)) * 2s) / fight length in seconds. Multiple by 100 for a percentage. Again, this is rather rough. What you find may be surprising: some fights, as much as 25% of the time may be spent casting these spells but the healing done my amount to less than 10%. This is normal and expected, as the HoTs are very powerful.
- Raid Healing: In short, you should see a comparatively high Rejuv number. In addition, you should see Wild Growth used on CD (as close to 87.5% uptime as possible), and a high Efflorescence uptime (calculated based on Swiftmend, look above). You shouldn’t really see many Nourish or Healing Touch as they are relatively ineffective for raid healing as they take too long to cast for the amount healed. After the mastery change in 4.2, the number of direct heals for a raid healing Druid will increase as it is necessary to keep the mastery buff up.
- Tranquility: First and foremost, Tranquility should be used every fight. If it isn’t showing up then first step is to start using it. With Tranquility reduced to a 3 minute cooldown, it can be used at least twice on every fight. Besides usage, you want to see a usage number divisible by 20. A full duration Tranquility on maximum number of targets will generate a number of 20. Anything less indicates that the spell was broken early, either from having to move or even perhaps accidentally broken. Note that Barkskin is no longer necessary when casting Tranquility so there is no need to line these two spells up.
- Innervate + Procs: If a Druid has trinkets, an enchant (Power Torrent, Lightweave) or on use items (Synapse Springs) that increase intellect, it is best to use Innervate during one of these as the increased total mana pool will count toward Innervate. Other outside sources like a Priest’s Hymn of Hope always greatly impact Innervate. You can check that a Druid is using Innervate in-line with temporary intellect buffs by checking the ‘Buffs gained’ tab.
- Potions: A mana potion isn’t necessary for every fight but it definitely helps on progression. You can verify that a potion is being used under the ‘Buffs cast’ tab. A potion’s mana return will be listed under ‘Power gains’.
- Overhealing: In general, overhealing is not a substantial consideration for Druids. This is due to HoTs being prone to over healing, especially Lifebloom and Wild Growth. The only time overhealing is a major issue is if you see lots of overhealing from direct heals, Nourish and Healing Touch. High overhealing from Nourish and/or Healing Touch can indicate that the Druid is either being lazy or is so focused on tank healing that they are not adapting outside of their role and getting other spells off like Wild Growth and Rejuv as they should be. Otherwise, overhealing is not something to consider against a Druid. After the mastery change in 4.2, it is expected that some overheal from direct heals will occur as the Druid will need to keep the mastery buff up.
- Nature’s Grace: As a talent, Nature’s Grace provides +15% haste lasting for 15 seconds on a 1 minute cooldown, triggered by a Regrowth cast. At a maximum, this allows for 25% uptime. It is not crucial to have maximum uptime on this buff as it is not always advantageous to have it up (eg. a tank healing Druid knows that the tank won’t be taking much damage for the next 10 seconds so they don’t need to get heals off on the tank 15% faster). A general guideline is around 15% uptime, which indicates a reasonable use of Regrowth. An uptime right up by 25% might indicate too much Regrowth use, though it could also indicate a Druid who is getting maximum usage from the talent, which is obviously a good thing and there is likely no significant argument to say that the required Regrowth is a waste of mana. Additionally, after the mastery change in 4.2, Regrowth will be used more to keep the mastery buff active, contributing to usage and, if the Druid has the Nature’s Grace talent, increasing this uptime. A Druid that is raid healing focused will not see much benefit from this talent.
As a summary, these are the key things you should be looking for in a Druid’s WoL report.
- – Every spell used: Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Wild Growth, Nourish, Healing Touch, Swiftmend, Tranquility, Tree of Life, and Innervate
- – Near 100% Lifebloom uptime
- – Innervate used at least twice per fight
- – Wild Growth uptime >50%
- – Tree of Life used at least once per fight
- – Tranquility used at least once per fight and at the right time
UPDATE: Considerations added for Tree+Rejuv spam, clarification on HoT distribution and how to view spell placement, and various typos.