Hey Bel, nice to see more resto druids on the up
thought id give my thoughts and opinions on our spells currently and how i use them. obviously this is just my opinion and i am writing this from memory so some of the numbers may be off. also chat to people like doomcluck and other high end raiding resto's in the guild for there opinions.
healing strategy for resto changes quite a lot as you have more talents and levels. like Smkedragon says it is vital to keep lifebloom rolling to 3 on a tank. every time you refresh lifebloom (be it through nourish, regrowth, healing touch or lifebloom itself) you refresh replenshiment which is a important mana back mechanic. also when you get mastery all spells on a player who has at least one hot on are increased by "x" amount. Blizzard again nods us in the direction of keeping lifebloom rolling to three with the 4 piece tier 11 "while lifebloom is rolling to three - druid gets 540 spirit" which is rather handy
When cataclysm first hit and with low amounts of intellect you could literally go oom with about 20 of these guys however it has now become more economic and with talents such as GotEM which can give up to 15% of rejuv's hot as an instant heal, can be very handy for a strong heal and the ability to set up a swiftmend/efflorescence. However it has not returned to Wrath days of blanketing the raid with rejuvenations and playing with that style will be very unsuccessful.
From memory i believe Regrowth is our most expensive heal that we use regularly. it has been reduced to a short 6 sec hot but is our fast expensive heal. When healing, and there is suddenly a massive burst of raid damage wrath taught us to rejuv everything and then nourish (regrowth from patch 3.3) everything. in Cata it is very easy to think "oh shit this is a lot of damage" and go crazy with the Wrath model this is not often the best solution. remember spells such as Wild growth and Efflorescence (if dps are stacked) can be as important if not more so in healing large chunks of raid damage. The talent Nature's bounty is one i often think about losing for the extra mana from furor and more hps in rejuv but the 60% crit increase chance to regrowth is exceptionally handy. it makes the spell a bit more economic and when coupled with a proc of Omen of Clarity (spells with a cast time are free) can do some great healing for no mana at all.
Nourish has become Mr efficent heal. it is the bread and butter of resto druids. With a high amount of spirit and intellect by the time you cast it you have almost gained back the mana required to use it thus it is very helpfull to keep nourishing everything. it refreshes lifebloom which is handy for tanks and heals for more on players who have a HoT on them. remember with cataclysm healing has become much more priority based. we dont have the mana or the speed to heal a tank and three dps to max health at the same time so remember your priorities. tanks, healers and obviously yourself are integral to staying alive.
Awesome Raid healing sums up Wild Growth. its range has been drastically increased and with the fact that you can cast this on a boss for example and 6 (if glyphed i belive) targets in range can be healed using the boss as the apex of that healing is great. its cooldown has been reduced to 8 seconds and should be used all the time unless a lot of raid damage is coming up. Hold it back and prepare to wildgrowth, then rejuv (or regrowth), then swiftmend for a great raid healing zone.
This is perhaps our only new resto spell in cataclysm. Efflorescence procs from swiftmending a player and drops a healing circle around that player. Swiftmend itself does a large amount of instant healing and should be used regularly even if players arent stacked. In the beta efflorescence was very overpowered and did a lot of healing to those standing it in it. it now diminishes its potency the more people stand in it. some builds suggest removing efflorescence completely from their spec and using the points to buff other spells. i personally like to have efflorescence especially if your playing with smart dps. just as i'm sure any Priest will agree when a person clicks on their light well i get the same heart warming feeling when a ranged dps shuffles into my green circle of efflorescence for free heals. it is brilliant for phases where you need to stack up and should be saved if something like that is coming up.
The Vanilla classic Slow and expensive heal has made a nice resurgence in cataclysm. I played a resto druid all through Wrath and i rarely, if ever, used Healing touch. it became pointless. however with the increased health pools of cataclysm it can be very handy. remembering your spells heal amounts is very important to judge when to use HT over regrowth. it also refreshes lifebloom. If you talent into Nature's Swiftness you get a three min CD to use which makes any spell less than 10 secs instant and though not as useful as before i would still suggest macroing it to Healing touch for an instant massive heal.
Druids have always been and still remain one of the most flexible healing classes. i can have all my hots rolling on a tank while healing up the raid and still run around lie a mad man(minus the constant tree form). I find it a very enjoyable class to play and with spells like innervate for giving yourself and/or others mana back they can be quite useful as part of a raid. obviously like i said at the start this is just my opinion and a few thoughts on the current state of our abilities. reading Resto healing blogs is very handy and articles like Shifting Perspectives on WoW Insider is great for learning about Resto and the other branches of Druidism. Hope i haven't rambled on for too long and you can gain some information from above.
Reading your post again Bel i saw you mantioned gear. It is pretty simple for resto druids. if its leather, got intellect on it and has spirit it is most probably for a resto druid. while Balance converts your spirit into hit for boomkin their gear usually has less or no spirit on.
Without a shadow of a doubt intellect is far superior to spirit. it makes your heals heal more and increases longevity however when starting out you may be struggling to not go oom and i personally believe there is nothing wrong with having a few spirit trinkets or spirit flasks to keep you going but ultimately when maximising your gear and for raiding intellect > Spirit.
There is more debate over our most important secondary stat however. some would argue that it has remained the same as wrath with everything being reforged into Haste. (again if your having mana issues and are above a certain haste plateau reforge to spirit if you have a piece of gear that doesnt have any on). There is also the camp who think about Mastery especially as it has recently been buffed. as i personally am not a dedicated tank healer i still stack haste over mastery where as if your put solely on the tank then Mastery may trump haste. Crit is still lower than both i believe.
Though it may seem obvious to people you must ONLY use leather. a personal pet hate of mine is a seeing a druid with epic cloth hands or legs etc. i feel i can say almost categorically that a 5% int buff is better than any upgrade please adhere to this
Edited to add a bit about gear