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4-10-2010 @ 9:02PM
All that lore that never mentions Druids being able to shift into non-animal forms once. Right.Here are the things you should consider.1) Tree of Life served a purpose in TBC. When it was first introduced it was used as a forceful method to make Druids healers switch over to the HoT play style. In doing so, the developers at the time vastly weakened the utility of Restoration by locking them out of all their caster abilities, something no other healer has to contend with.2) Once the HoT playstyle was tweaked and players became familiar with it, it grew to become popular. At this point, many people started to have issues with some of the other severe restrictions ToL placed on healing druids such as the snare and mana cost reduction.3) Blizzard, with a newer design team, decided that Tree of Life should not limit the movement of the player, and one of the more "interesting" portions to the talent was removed. This was required in order to make the healers equal.4) Soon into the cycle of WotLK, it was noted that Druid players were forced into Tree form in order to survive due to mana costs in PvP. This was noted to be a limiting factor that no other healer had to content with and thus it was removed, quite soundly in logic, due to issues of balance.5) This then left Tree of Life as nothing more than a passive spellpower buff that forced druids to be in a discoloured model from 2005, something which a large portion of the player base disliked.With Cataclysm Blizzard stated they were removing all talents which only function as a "Increases X by Y" setup, something which Tree of Life falls perfectly into. Thus, the logical solution instead of bastardising ToL to become Tree of All Druid Spells was to remove Tree of Life in its current implementation and turn it into a cooldown available to healing druids, something we have sorely been lacking and have causes Priests and Paladins to be favoured in some healing setups over us.The point of the Restoration Druid class was NEVER to sit in Tree of Life, it has always been about our Heal over Time spells and the synergies they offer with our direct heals and in the greater view of a raid or arena team. Something that is interesting to note is that currently, Druids are actually much further from their original design of being shapeshifters and this change to a CD based ToL will return us once more to the active decision of shifting. Pushing a "+ spell power, + brown log form, - utility" button before combat is not shapeshifting. Predicting incoming damage that may be severe to the stability of the raid and countering it by becoming an embodiment of nature for a short period of time is truly shapeshifting.Much more could be argued that shifting should bring a change in playstyle. The healing a druid can do does not change between caster form and tree aside from doing slightly more, hardly a major paradigm shift like that experienced when changing to cat or bear and, in Cataclysm, moonkin with the new Eclipse UI.Tree of Life has become nothing more than a hindrance to restoration druids and it is time for the bloated and cumbersome mechanic to be removed. An additional blessing is that finally restoration druids will no longer need to be a rotting piece of broccoli to reach their highest potential.
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