Yes I know It is a terrible, terrible, play on words.

So the new patch has come in, and being the good, respectable and above all else honourable druid that I am I spent a good 15 minutes at the graveyard by Bloodhoof Village putting the part of my soul that had been ripped away from me to rest, after which with extreme reluctance and an overall feeling of wrongness I went and healed a few dungeons and Sarth to get a feel for the new patch.

Overall theres not a lot to comment about with Druids yet, at least nothing earth changing .. But lets cover the major ones.

Efflorthingy .. I could check its name but lets say Ill call it the GCOT on game chat (Green Circle of Health). With the glyph for swifftmend its just a matter of throwing a rujuv and a switfmend and there we go instant aoh, and better yet at lvl 80 so far it barley costs any mana. We shall see how things scales with levelling!

General Healing spells, still work the same but some of the efficiencies have changed so I’m using spells I wasn’t using as much before, though to be honest I feel like I am using less buttons now then I was before patch 4.0, it feels like TBC where you capped the tank with Lifebloom and then threw a heal on someone else if you were bored.

Now to the one topic I have tried to avoid for months .. Tree Of Life. Let me be blunt, I hate that it has gone away, I loved being a broccoli but more I felt it defined the restoration class, and I never in any way felt restricted by playing in ToL form.

As a Druid you get to be a bit of everything but as it has stood for the last few years it isnt until you choose a path and reach the forms that define that path that show your mastery .. while at the same time restricting you to that role. As a bear, I can’t truly dps, As a Cat, I can’t tank, As a Moonkin I can’t heal, and As a Tree I can’t DPS.

When you rolled a druid any time since TBC hit you knew going in that you were going to spend a lot of time outside your racial form, so complaining about not seeing gear is pretty invalid in my opinion (besides who cares you will look same as every other druid if you are in gear or tree anyway). Yes we couldn’t dps as a tree .. as a result though our healing talents as a tree were incredibly diversified, we had higher health then priests, more hots and AOH’s then any other class and with the introduction of Nourish in Wrath we had (if any crazy person chose that route) the ability to spec to create a tank healer that while well below a paladin could still preform adequatly.

We stood there as awe inspiring monoliths healing like you couldn’t believe. If less healing was needed we could shapeshift to do some paltry dps, hell if tanks die by standing in fire at 1 or 2% boss health you could even switch t bear and aggro the boss for those few prescious seconds while the dps finished him off.

The only time I ever , ever cursed being a resto druid was back in TBC when I had to do anything Solo because in the 8 or 9 shots it would take me to kill 1 mob some boomkin or mage would come along and kill the 5 others I needed .. but hey, duel specs solved that in the best possible way.

So either way I liked Tree Of Life, and was extremely dissapointed to hear it was going .. and for months the thought of a cooldown replacing it was dissapointing.

What do I think of the New Tree of Life Gameplay? I don’t know. So far I can’t imagine myself using it at all in dungeons (maybe at 85 but I’m discussing now not 3-4 months away) unless Im bored and want to see how many wraths I can cast in a cooldown. In raids at level 80, anything below toc I cant see myself using it, and in ToC or ICC I can’t judge until I try it. So at the moment it feels more than lacklusture. Tree of Life is our end Talent, it should feel like something you want rather then something you’ll take because you simply need to waste some talent points and its better then putting it into a talent that is even more useless for healing.

My Shaman put his points into Earthquake, that was fun I can tell you, from the moment I heard about it I was looking forward to it .. but Tree of Life doesnt hold that appeal in its current format, and while I am willing (and will) play with ot to try and give it a chance I think come cataclysm (and especially when the new ToL Look comes in) I will probably only use it in Booty Bay when I ring the Town Bell and scamper across the roofs calling for sanctuary!

Other druids are free to disagree, as I have said this is simply my opinion, they can bounce around with their ears flopping or do the happy tauren dance or whatever they want to celebrate, I’ll be mourning the end of an era down by the grave of my Tree in Bloodhoof Village.