I’m calling shenanigans. Tree Form has to be a colossal joke upon the entire druid class. I’m not kidding.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Tree of Life Form. It’s spectacular with its aura and the reduction in mana-cost to healing. The tree dance is great (let’s do the twist, kids), and the animations we have are hilarious. I love to “sleep” by sticking my little root feets into the ground and hang my head.
But the fun stops there. And, oddly enough, it is stopped by what is perhaps the weirdest and most arbitrary mechanic built into the Tree of Life form:
The 20% speed reduction.
Now, I know there are issues with how Remove Curse isn’t available in Tree Form, but even that doesn’t get my goat as much as this ridiculous mechanic. It actually forces druids to not use the form best suited for their job in upper raid boss encounters. When mobility is an issue, you leave your wooden hide behind and muck it up in caster form.
Well, you say, this is easy enough to do and not that detrimental. Why do we care?
I’ll tell you why.
Look at your Shadow Priest. See that nice, pretty Shadowform? Would you ask the priest to leave Shadowform to DPS? No? What about a Moonkin? Bear tanks? No? So they never, even when mobility is involved, have to leave the forms which maximize their abilities? But, say, if we resto druids have to move a lot on, perhaps, Archimonde, it’s best the Tree is, well, not a tree.
Well, we ask them to switch out if we need an emergency off-healer, you say. And I would reply, of course you do. Because that was not the role that form was designed for. If I’m in a fight where I cannot heal, I am out of tree form and putting up Insect Swarm and Moonfire. But if I’m in a fight where I expect to heal, I expect to be in the form best suited for my intended role.
Being able to “get away” is highly important in many later raid fights. Being in tree form, rather than being an asset to your raid through auras and mana longevity, makes you a detriment to your raid. If you can’t run out of Doomfires, if you take a second longer in the Volcanoes, you are a problem. Most likely, you are also dead.
I am often placed in the main tank group so that my aura can affect as many tanks as possible, increasing the healing output of all healers assigned to them. On half of the fights TK and up, however, I’m a fixture without utility in that group, waiting for trash so my aura can go back up. I cannot keep up with the pain train through gauntlets like the one in ZA or the one before Reliquary of Souls in my Tree Form, and those are perhaps where mana efficiency and a steady stream of good healing on the tanks is needed the most. Half of the Kael encounter I am out of form, I am out of form for Archimonde, Supremus, Void Reaver, even Netherspite, for crying out loud, all because of some silly, weird, completely arbitrary 20% speed decrease.
Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how this ridiculous mechanic is necessary. I cannot think of a single reason to keep this mechanic in the tree. Perhaps it is to keep Restoration druids from increasing their healing output in arenas. However, Tree of Life aura is increased by a quarter of your Spirit. Arena gear has no spirit, so healing will be increased only marginally. There is also still the danger of being banished while in form and being out of a fight for much too long. Add in the base mana cost of tree form and it is highly ineffective in arenas.
So, I’ll ask again:
How is the speed reduction anything other than arbitrary?