In addition to having to give up utility in order to heal as a Tree of Life, we have become less enamored with druids locking themselves into one form. In fact, you really never see the basic tauren or night elf druid form (you know, the one that actually shows off the awesome armor art) because all druids are in cat, bear, tree, or moonkin form nearly 100% of the time. I’m not saying we would just cut Tree of Life from the game. It’s been around awhile and for better or worse, it’s part of World of Warcraft now. However, we could see taking the druid in a direction where shifting was much more common and easy to do. Maybe you only go into tree form for certain spells but leave for other spells -- this didn’t work previously because of the high cost of shifting, but in the absence of power shifting, we’d love to get rid of the costs completely. Another way to go would be to make Tree of Life form a cooldown, more like Metamorphosis. You shift into tree when you need a healing boost, but you don’t stay in it all the time. Now, I am totally waving my arms here. This is not the kind of change you are going to see in the next patch. But it is something we’re thinking about long term, and the kind of thinking we’d love to have more feedback on from the community.
Before the panicing starts, GC did say this may be way in the future, and he's just speculating (pulling stuff out of his...ah...head...). But, still, the fact that this is being thought about...
Well, why? And, specifically, why Tree of Life?
I would love to see my tree form with a staff strapped to her back. I would love to see my tree come in all colors of the rainbow. I don't want my form to become a gimmick like it was in BC, whether it's situational because we're arbitrarily slow or because there's a cooldown.
I don't foresee Bear form becoming this sort of on-off switch. I don't foresee cat become some sort of periodic shift. Boomkin...maybe? But why would you do that to us trees only? That's certainly how it looks from what you're saying.
Forms are what make us Druids special. I was so excited when I found out that, finally, all talent trees had their own, special forms for doing their jobs. I didn't care I was some silly brown broccoli; I knew you could look at me and go "There's a healer. They're who's going to keep us alive."
I felt silly whenever I had to be out of my tree form because it was slow. I wanted to be in tree form, exuding an aura, buffing my healing and others'. And you know what that means? Fights in which healers are vulnerable to polymorph (though they appear less and less), I'll no longer be immune but will have to use GCDs to get out. No longer will I just be watching eight or nine HoT cooldowns (or more!), running out of fire and avoiding missiles, but also a cooldown for an uber form. As well...how would they balance that out with other healers?
Also, it doesn't make sense with a primarily HoT-based healer. If the rolling still worked on Lifebloom like it did in the beginning of BC where buffed HoTs could continue past cooldown so long as you kept it rolling, then I could understand. A cooldown-based heal increase has never been the most effective for Druids (as seen by trinket choice), so why would you make our form that way?
Elsewhere in the article, GC says that Druids are in a nice spot right now. They have their niche. I wonder, why then do you want to change us to some sort of gimmicked cooldown healer whose HoTs' ticks fluctuate up and down with our cooldown from 15 second tree form?
I want to be a tree. I really, really do. I sincerely hope this is just idle musings of a demented crab.
But why do I get the feeling that won't always be the case?
For the official word, do we have plans to update more druid form models at some point in the future?
Ghostcrawler: I know for a fact that the current Travel Form and Aquatic Form are loathed by the artist who redid bear and cat. We do have plans to update additional forms at some point in the future.
Probably because they're considering redoing travel and aquatic forms before tree or moonkin.