Theorycraft: Restoration T15 vs T16 Tier Pieces

Restoration Druid has been subject to a lot of number crunching and debate this tier.  There are advocates for keeping the Throne of Thunder 4 set bonus, despite the stat loss, and there are advocates to the contrary.  Below I have some statistics and data to show the quantifiable effects of the different set bonuses, stat gains/losses, and a general analysis of restoration druid gearing in Siege of Orgrimmar.

First off, I’d like to thank vow1152 of MMO-Champion for the extensive work he has done on this subject.  He is has been extremely valuable in providing data, spreadsheets, and general analysis to the restoration druid community.  Without his work this tier, many of our findings below would have been much harder to reach.

The best way to analyze the actual throughput gains/losses for the tier pieces is to try to simulate them being used on the same fight, with everything but the gear change being held ceteris paribus.  In order to do this we have used a spreadsheet to break down a combat parse and tell us how each of our spell’s healing would have been changed based on the gear you would have been wearing.  Of course, as with all simulations, you must understand that this is just raw data and must be interpreted.  Just because something on a sim or spreadsheet shows a positive nominal change, it does not mean it is a positive real change.

I ran the simulation at the beginning of the tier on normal mode Thok and Siegecrafter.  These fights are pretty straight forward non-stop healing fights for a restoration druid, so they should provide a decent control.  I will be updating this post and others with further analysis on more fights and heroic modes (although the results should remain similar, as our spell mix rarely changes too substantially).  Below are the control statistics before running the simulation, showing the spell mix percentages used on this test.

Thok Analysis

World of Logs Reference:  Click Here
Spreadsheet Reference:  Click Here

First, I ran a control of the Thok encounter where the gear was the exactly the same, but one time we had the T15 4 piece, and the other time we had T16 4 piece.  The results are what you would expect, as we did not calculate the stat gains from T16 gear:

Spreadsheet Reference: Click Here

As you can see, with all stats held constant, just comparing the two tier bonuses, Rejuvenation and Efflorescence suffer a fairly large reduction in healing and Wild Growth has marginal gains.  However, the true analysis must include the stat gains from the new gear.  The real argument in favor of getting the new Siege of Orgrimmar gear is not for the new set bonuses, but rather for more stats.  It is easily and universally accepted that the old tier bonuses were better than our current ones.

Below we have the results of the test comparing T15 Heroic 4pc and T16 Normal 4pc:

ImageSpreadsheet Reference:  Click Here

You’ll notice that even with the substantial gains in primary and secondary stats, the losses in Rejuvenation and Efflorescence still outweigh the minor gains in everything else.  Clearly it is not worth dropping your heroic T15 bonuses during normal mode Siege of Orgrimmar.  However, is this still the case for heroic Siege?  Here are our results:

ImageSpreadsheet Reference:  Click Here

Once again, we are experiencing a net loss in throughput based on this simulation.  It would appear that even with the huge stat gains (33 item levels) do not surpass, or even equal, the throughput provided by our old set bonuses.  However, basing your entire gearing strategy based off a hand full of simulations based on one encounter would be unwise.  So, we have done the same analysis for Siegecrafter Blackfuse below.

Siegecrafter Blackfuse Analysis

Siegecrafter:  Control

ImageWorld of Logs Reference: Click Here
Spreadsheet Reference: Click Here

Siegecrafter:  Pure T15 vs. T16 (No Stat Differences) Reference: Click Here

Siegecrafter:  Heroic T15 vs. Normal T16

ImageSpreadsheet Reference: Click Here

Siegecrafter:  Heroic T15 vs. Heroic T16

ImageSpreadsheet Reference: Click Here

Other Considerations

Although we have been looking at raw data and statistics for the majority of this post, there are also other things to consider when choosing your gearing path this tier.  First, do you have the correct Throne of Thunder heroic tier pieces?  If you do not, then most of this analysis does not apply to you.  The normal mode tier, via the set bonuses, is still good.  However, the stat losses are much larger and would require further study to identify when it is best to switch to the Siege 4 piece set bonus.

Additionally, what is the gearing situation in your raid?  Although we recommend staying with your Throne of Thunder heroic four set for the entirety of this tier, some people disagree.  If you are one of them, you most likely will still agree that the throughput differences are very close.  Due to this, it is probably wiser to give up competing for tier pieces, in favor of DPS.  Generally, I think that gearing DPS over healers is a better option overall during heroic progression.  However, this feeling is especially true if the gains from giving the restoration druid a tier token are very minor, and very debatable if they even exist.


Overall, it appears that our Throne of Thunder tier bonuses are far superior to the Siege of Orgrimmar tier bonuses even when accounting for stat differences.  Combine this with the problem of loot scarcity for a raid group, and it becomes obvious that this tier we should not be taking any tier tokens.  Perhaps if your entire raid already has heroic four sets from this tier, you can take the new heroic tier pieces to play around with.  However, the gains from a fully heroic upgraded Siege of Orgrimmar set seems to be nonexistent, and arguments to the contrary still say that they are marginal at that.


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