I'd hoped to have a fair few more raid previews from the PTR, but a mixture of bugged encounters, rescheduled testing, and just fellow raiders having issues getting onto the PTR (and staying connected), the only real preview of interest is a look at Alysrazor.
For those of you who quested in Hyjal, you may remember the Green Dragon Alysra - we deliver the prisoner Arch Druid Staghelm to her (which apparently seems to have been a bad idea). It seems she has joined the ranks of Ragnaros along with Staghelm (who we will also face in Firelands).
The fight itself is quite fun. She drops molten feathers which players can pick up, increasing their movement speed and allowing them to cast while moving. If you pick up three, you'll gain Wings of Flame and be able to fly up into the air. There are fiery rings to pass through while in the air which give you a haste buff and allow you to stay in the air.
Meanwhile there are adds to deal with on the ground, so any DPS not chasing her in the air can assist on those. There are humanoid adds which cast brushfires, basically balls of moving flame, so killing those adds keeps the ground from becoming covered with fire. There are also two Hatchling adds which the tanks have to manage. Lava worms spawn out of the ground and you kite the hatchlings to the worms to feed them to prevent them from gaining a damage buff.
Our bear tank, Reesi (of The Inconspicuous Bear), frapsed our 10 man kill, so you can get a glimpse of the fight here!
I'll leave the preview at that as I expect there'll still be a lot more tuning and adjusting to the fight. The 10m version felt a bit undertuned so it will likely in the very least be buffed some.
New Resto Mastery
The new Resto mastery (Harmony: Increases direct healing by 10% and your direct healing spells grant you a 10% bonus to your periodic healing for 10 sec. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%.) has been implemented on the PTR, and it does indeed proc a buff on you. This will help immensely in keeping track of the Mastery and ensuring we maintain good uptime on it.
I do feel the actual time of it could be increased. A 15 second duration would be nice, however, that may seem a bit too easy for Blizz to want to implement, as it could easily be refreshed by simply Swiftmending on cooldown, which could quickly become a mindless auto-cast without any real thought. This is obviously trying to encourage our direct heals along with our HoTs, which is good. The 10 second duration should be very maintainable in 5mans and likely 10mans, where there's plenty of direct healing going on along with raid healing. In 25s I could see this being a bit trickier, particularly for those druids who are focussed primarily on raid healing rather than necessarily tank healing. If refreshing the Mastery with a Nourish or Healing Touch, that's essentially 2-3 seconds of the buff spent simply refreshing it. You could arguably refresh with a faster Regrowth, particularly if you have an OoC proc, but that seems like it might just encourage poor and random Regrowth use.
A 12 second duration for the buff seems like it may be a good balance. Not too long that it could be so easily refreshed by just spamming Swiftmend, but long enough that you don't feel your constantly having to refresh it.
Regardless, having a means to track the buff will be essential for keeping good uptime on it. Power Auras Classic is great for this, and I've made a Power Aura (which you can edit to your liking) to track the buff. Keep in mind, this only works on the PTR for the moment, as the new Mastery won't be live until 4.2.
The import code is this:
Version:4.19; b:0.0549; g:0.4863; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; r:0.1843; x:-85; customname:Harmony; texture:23; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; wowtex:true; combat:true; size:0.25; y:-160; ismounted:0; timer.b:0.9294; timer.h:2; timer.Texture:WhiteRabbit; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.9882; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:CENTER; timer.UseOwnColor:true
The Aura itself looks like this (seen with my full Resto power aura setup):
The Harmony aura is the leaf on the left hand side with the timer - this way you can see the buff is active and also how much time is remaining on it so you can refresh it as needed.
My full set of Resto power aura codes are available in my post here: My User Interface / Addons.