The 5.3 PTR just went to release candidate, 5.3 date soon

If you have been playing on the PTR, you probably noticed that the latest build on PTR is tagged as the Release Candidate (RC).  What does this mean?  That 5.3 will be very soon!

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Still no confirmation for the date it will go live, however, Blues had this to say:

Do you know if 5.3 is coming out this month or not for sure. I heard that is what you guys are aiming for but not sure if its a possibility it might not happen.
At current, it won’t be much longer. We’re hoping to get it out soon (and not the usual soon). I can’t confirm more than that for you right now.

Vampiric Embrace healing buffed for 25M in 5.3

Looks like the 25M healing buff has also reached shadow priests.  Their Vampiric Embrace will now heal up to 15 raid members, up from 6 members on 25M only in 5.3.

This could up a shadow priests healing significantly for 25M, and will definitely help healers out, especially when under-healing content.

This change was a late addition to the 25M healing CD buffs from a few weeks ago that saw Divine Hymn, Tranquility and Revival all get buffed when used in 25M instances.

Divine Hymn gets buffed in 5.3 for 25M raid

Holy priests have just received a significant buff on the 5.3 PTR to Divine Hymn in 25M raiding (goes along with the Tranquility buff and the Revival buff) that sees Divine Hymn healing 12 members, up from 5 members, when used in a 25M raid.

Divine Hymn now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance.

A nice buff to holy and might get some of the multitudes of Discs out there trying Holy again, which has been very competitive this tier, after being completely outshined by Disc earlier in this expansion.

Resto Druids get buffs to Swiftmend, Ironbark & Wild Mushrooms in 5.3

The resto druid buffs that Ghostcrawler hinted at a few days ago have finally hit the 5.3 PTR – and the changes should make for some happy trees out there.

First, Swiftmend sees it’s AOE healing increased from 8 yards to 10 yards.  With so many fights being “/range 8” this tier, it means that druids could possibly hit 2 people.  It will also help those druids healing lazy stackers where “stack on the same pixel” is really subjective!

Swiftmend area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.

Next, the tank CD Ironbark has seen it’s cooldown reduced from 2 minutes to 1 minute.  This is a good change, and hopefully we will see more druids using this regularly to help out their tank healers.  It seems to be a very underused spell by druids, particularly for those in guilds who aren’t doing cutting edge progression, so druids should feel free to use it a lot more liberally with the reduced CD.

Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom has also received significant upgrades.  This is also underused by resto druids but it can be extremely powerful when used correctly.  First, it has been buffed by 100%, which will double the output from this spell.  Then the increase to 10 yards from 8 yards will be great and require less precision in placement by the druid.  And lastly, Rejuvenation overhealing will now also contribute to Wild Mushrooms.  Hopefully these changes will help this vastly underused spell get some more play.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom now heals all allies within 10 yards (up from 8 yards) for 100% more, and includes bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing.

Ghostcrawler also tweeted a bit of clarification on the Wild Mushroom changes…

Our Mushroom patch note is confusing people. It now heals for double (+100%) what it does on live, which includes Rejuv overhealing.

And of course, there was the Druid-wide change to Tranquility.

Druids have been pretty weak this tier, especially when raiding in groups heavy on the shields (discs and holy pallies) although if they are in a non-shield raid group (or perhaps with only one shield class), their heals can really shine.  These 5.3 PTR changes, while not live, should make some resto druids pretty happy.

Tranquility buffed in 5.3 for 25M raids

Along with Revival being buffed in 25M raids, Tranquility also got a nice buff for 25M raiding, including symbiosed versions of the spell as well.

 Tranquility
now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.

This will make non-resto Druid tranquilities that much more powerful for 25M raiding, where the off-spec Tranquilities from Boomkins, Ferals and Guardians are not generally used as often as the resto Tranquilities.  Unfortunately, the non-resto Tranqs did not see any kind of CD reduction, which generally makes the non-resto Tranqs usable 1-2 times per fight.

The change also applies to symbiosed Tranquilities for Priests, which adds a nice buff for them as well when they are symbiosed.

Mistweaver Revival Buffed in 5.3 for 25M raids

Mistweavers who raid in 25M raids have just received a huge buff to Revival.

Revival now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.

This change did surprise me, to be honest, as Revival has been a pretty powerful healing coolddown to use in raiding this expansion.  But Tranquility did also receive their own buff, so it could be related.

Now, will Healing Tide see its own buff as well?  Nothing yet, but it wouldn’t be a stretch, since it only heals 5 players currently per tick.

Resto Shamans get more buffs in 5.3?

Resto Shamans have been struggling this tier to keep competitive with other healers, and they did get a nice 20% buff on Healing Rain, Chain Heal and Earthliving that was hotfixed on March 26th and a mana cost reduction for Healing Rain back in February.  The new 5.3 PTR patch notes bring more good news to Shamans, although some are merely tooltip updates but others are brand new healing buffs.

Chain Heal had a ~18% increase to healing and SP scaling.
Earthliving had a 20% increase to healing and SP scaling.
Healing Rain had a 20% increase to healing and SP scaling.
Healing Rain now costs 36.6% of Base Mana, down from 43.1%.

For those into theorycraft and want the exacts, here they are:

  • Chain Heal Heals the friendly target for [ 6,325 + 57.3% [ 7,590 + 68.76% of Spell Power ], then jumps to heal the most injured nearby targets. If cast on a party or raid member, the heal will only jump to other members. Each jump reduces the effectiveness of the heal by 30%. Heals 4 total targets. 22.5% of Base Mana. 40 yd range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Earthliving Heals the target for [ 3,648 + 8.3% [ 4,376 + 9.96% of Spell Power ] over 12 sec. 40 yd range. Instant.
  • Healing Rain Healing rains blanket the area, restoring [ 2,170 + 19.7% [ 2,604 + 23.64% of Spell Power ] health to the Shaman’s allies. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Healing Rain Calls forth healing rains to blanket the area targeted by the Shaman, restoring [ 2,170 + 19.7% [ 2,604 + 23.64% of Spell Power ] health to allies in the area every 2 sec for 10 sec. Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area. 43.1% 36.635% of Base Mana. 40 yd range. 2 sec cast. 10 sec cooldown.

How much of this is a tooltip update and how much is a new buff is unclear, however none of the patch notes for the previous hotfix included any mention of the increased spellpower scaling, so it is likely that portion of the buff is new.  From the March 27 hotfix patch notes:

Chain Heal now heals for 20% more.
Healing Rain now heals for 20% more.

Restoration

  • Earthliving Weapon now heals for 20% more.

Definitely no mention of the spellpower scaling, and Ghostcrawler hasn’t weighed in yet.  We will keep you updated!