“The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.”
Resto Druid Legion Affinity
It is still early; we are still in the Alpha. The designers are tuning right now so there is no real measure of power. Resto Druid’s will get three choices on one tier (#45) of Talents: Feral, Guardian, Balance. They are our Affinities.
We have no idea how powerful this built-in off-spec will be to play.
Gone will be Heart of the Wild; a six minute cooldown with a 45 second use — excellent for boosting big heals or spamming some wrath or “going bear”. Candidly, I’ll miss it but six minutes was a long time between spells in a raid.
When we choose our Talent; we’ll get a passive associated with that choice: Feral gives us speed, Guardian gives us damage reduction, Balance gives you increased range on your spells (a paltry five yards).
Along with the passive buff with the Talent, a Resto Druid can also use a limited number of spells in the chosen specialization. One can “go bear” and tank for a while, one can “go kitty” and swipe and maul or one can “go boomy” and spam moonfire, wrath and other balance spells.
Note that the cooldown on moonkin form will make the feral affinity higher sustained damage and balance likely better for short bursts, depending on overall balancing.
Best Over All Guess is that the choices for Affinity will be most appreciated in Dungeons; which we will get to know very well. My instinct is to go Balance for the quick burst of dps on the pull; granted we don’t know the fights yet but pushing a dungeon boss (third boss in Auchindoun) to avoid a phase shift is common and desired.
Best Raiding Guess will be swapping between Balance for the “on the pull” spamming dps or Feral for the over-all speed passive (depending on the boss fight, of course).
The Guardian Affinity will have it’s day in the sun. There will be an Achievement where a third tank holding some mob to the side will be helpful. Holding the Guardian Affinity to “save the day” is a risky way of thinking! Keeping your tanks healed is much more important.
I loved to “go bear” on phase three of Archimonde, taunting the Infernal then racing away only to root him in place as I dashed back to heal the group. We can kite as bears pretty well. There might be times when the utility of the Affinity Talents really play off — depending on the class tuning which is happening now. I remember “going bear” to jump on the bombs for Iron Juggernaut in MoP — there will be times and likely many that our bear utility will be handy!
I wonder if we’ll get another action bar to reflect our choices. We haven’t had a chance to experience it yet or see it in action. Much to Misdirections dismay, we are learning new spells, rotations and utility all over again: I’d guess, like Symbiosis in MoP, that Affinity will be a one-expansion thing.
It is easy to imagine our Affinity Talent choices in HFC: Feral for Hellfire Assault, Balance for Iron Reaver and Bear for Kormok. However, our tanks in Legion will be “squishier” and less independent — they will need our constant heals.
Druids are loaded for utility. In Legion, we’ll lose some (Stampeding Roar); still, with our Affinity Talents, we will bring a lot of use and fun to our group experiences!