This is part three of a multi-part discussion of the suggested changes to Lifebloom on the PTR. Please note that as this change is not live, the information within the post is subject to change, and the series could end abruptly if the changes are rejected. This is not, and will never be, a rant upon the changes, but rather a frank look at the different facets and uses, as well as a preparation for their possible implementation.
PTR Lifebloom, Part 3: Glyphs and Talents
Though much of this is common knowledge for the experienced Druid, I hope the following information on how glyphs and talents will factor into the new Lifebloom can help newer Druids plan, and make the transition a little less daunting. It does not cover all synergies, such as reduction in cost of other skills and (therefore conserving mana for your Lifebloom), but rather talents and glyphs which concern Lifebloom or mana specifically.
Intensity - "Allows (10/20/30)% of your Mana regeneration to continue while casting and causes your Enrage ability to instantly generate 4 rage." This is a talent every Resto Druid should already have, and with the expense of Lifebloom, it's going to become even more invaluable. It's easy to get, at only the third tier of Restoration talents, and only takes three points to max out. On the PTR, Intensity is being retooled to be 17%/33%/50% mana regeneration while casting, making it even better able to compensate for the regen change (thanks Anonymous).
Living Spirit - "Increases your total Spirit by (5/10/15)%." Once again, this talent is one that every Resto Druid should have. Though Spirit is being tweaked in the PTR, at the very least Innervate still functions off of Spirit, and thus will improve your mana gain from the skill. Though the talent is further down the tree, it still comes before Tree of Life, and should not be difficult to fill. As it only requires three points, again, to complete, it is also not very costly.
Dreamstate - "Regenerate mana equal to (4/7/10)% of your Intellect every 5 sec, even while casting." Dreamstate is an oft unutilized talent by Restoration Druids due to how deep one must go into the Balance tree to reach it. However, it is much more viable in Wrath, as one can still reach the Tree of Life talent with Dreamstate, though not much farther than that. For someone who wishes to continue rolling Lifeblooms, combining Dreamstate, Intensity, Living Spirit, Omen of Clarity and Tree of Life, an intense amount of mana regeneration and conservation is possible.
Glyph of Innervate - This glyph will give you 100% mana regeneration when cast on another person, or 600% increase in spirit-based regen and full mana regeneration while casting. With the expense of Lifebloom (without letting it bloom), needing innervate becomes a real possibility, where Druids could simply give it away before. With this glyph, even if you do end up having to give your Innervate away to someone else, you can still receive a benefit, albeit a small one.
Omen of Clarity - Omen of Clarity is a talent basically every Druid gets; gaining free spells for doing what you always do is a nice perk. Besides, this talent is very near the top of the Restoration tree and only takes one point. Micro-managing the clearcasting proc could actually not only conserve, but gain you mana if you use it to toss out a Lifebloom, thus costing you no mana in the cast and gaining you half back when it blooms (if that is your goal), or can defray the cost of Lifebloom further.
Tree of Life - This is the ultimate form of a Restoration Druid; in reference to Lifebloom, it will defray the cost by 20% of each cast (though the mana returned from casting will remain unchanged), and increase all healing in the HoT and bloom portions. The cost of shifting into form is also being decreased on the PTR (from 28% base mana to 13% base mana) so, though having little effect on PvE druids, will be a great help in conservation for PvP druids. Though Tree of Life can also be improved, be aware that improving the talent only increases armor and spell power, not the reduction of casting cost.
Nature's Splendor - This will increase the duration of all your HoTs, and Lifebloom specifically by 2 seconds. Though originally this was used in order to squeeze out another Lifebloom in your rotation, it can instead be used to space Lifebloom stacking out, refreshing at the very last second in order to spend the least amount of mana possible while not letting stacks drop off (unless the bloom is efficient and desired at that point). This talent is only one point, and only ten points into the Balance tree, making it not difficult at all to reach, even for non-Dreamstate druids.
Glyph of Lifebloom - This also extends Lifebloom past its original length, doing much the same as the above, giving you more time between refreshes. And if you keep Lifebloom to only one, or perhaps two, targets, it becomes even easier to manage the cooldown. Something to consider, however, is that if you are on raid healing, your main goal may be to let Lifebloom bloom, and extending the time it takes to reach the bloom may not be effective.
Global Cooldown Modification/Haste
Gift of the Earthmother - "Reduces the base global cooldown of your Rejuvenation, Lifebloom and Wild Growth spells by (4/8/12/16/20)%." Though the reduction in global cooldown's original purpose was to allow rolling of Lifebloom on more targets while also freeing up time for other moves, now it will allow for closer timing to the end of Lifebloom's duration to maximize the time spent not using mana on Lifebloom. It's very far down in the Restoration tree, even past Tree of Life, and costs five points to fill out. It's before Wild Growth, however, so it is likely that you'll have points for it if you're heading for that spell.
Celestial Focus - "Gives your Starfire spell a (5/10/15)% chance to stun the target for 3 sec and increases your total spell haste by (1/2/3)%." This talent will give you a flat 3% haste increase, not give you a 3% increase on the amount of haste you have. It is equivalent to about 100 haste rating at level 80. Spell haste affects both GCD and cast speed; however this reduction in GCD will be less noticeable if you do not have much haste on your gear. This will be more beneficial to those who will not be using Lifebloom as much, or planning on letting it bloom, and will want spells such as Nourish and Regrowth to cast faster. Though it only takes 3 talent points, it is about a third of the way down the Balance tree, and some Resto druids may not wish to sacrifice the points if they are not going for a Dreamstate spec.
(PTR)Nature's Grace - "All spell criticals have a (33/66/100)% chance to grace you with a blessing of nature, increasing your spell casting speed by 20% for 3 sec." This talent used to reduce your next cast time by 0.5 seconds; however it has been changed to reduce your next cast-time spell by 1/5th of its time. For those allowing Lifebloom to bloom, especially in five-mans, it can make the next Regrowth, Nourish or Healing Touch come faster to cover for the HoT portion. This is not as far down the Balance tree as Celestial Focus, but it is only questionably good for druids who do not stack crit or who are not Dreamstate.
(PTR)Glyph of Nourish - Though it does not directly relate to Lifebloom or mana, I thought it would be helpful to mention that this glyph will benefit from Lifebloom, thus making Nourish more powerful with at least one application of Lifebloom. This gives incentive for at least one Lifebloom to be active on your main target much of the time.
In the next part, I'll look a little more in-depth at the playstyles, specs and glyphs in combination, as well as imagining rotations, situations and the effects of gear level.