Question of the Week: How to fix us?

by on Oct.29, 2009, under General

Question MarkThere’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere and forums in regards to how to fix balance druids.  One of the “band-aids” suggested is to change [spell]Celestial Focus[/spell] and change the haste to another stat.  This would allow haste gear to have more value to us (as the soft cap before your Wraths got below 1sec would go up).  What do you think of this?  What would you suggest instead?  I would like to see us have some more crit talents, personally.  I know a lot of people don’t value crit like they do haste, but I know personally I can see rather large increase in my DPS if I have focus magic, and a huge decrease in damage if we do not have improved scorch/improved shadowbolt on the boss.

Leave your ideas in the comments!



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9 Comments for this entry

  • Xiera

    I’m not sure I see the point of that. So let’s say you replace that 3% haste with 3% crit. You’re still going to gear for a haste soft cap, but now the crit soft cap is lower as well. So basically, this suggestion is saying “I’d rather gear for haste than crit, even though I’m going to have about the same numbers of each in the end”.

    Now, there is some logic here — on a per-percent basis, crit is more expensive than haste.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it seems like you’d still have to compensate for that 3% from gear, and regardless of how you get that haste, Starfire is always going to benefit from haste long after Wrath no longer does. It seems to me that this suggestion is just not well-thought-out.

    People seem to be focused on two main issues: haste and Eclipse. The only solution to the haste solution is having a longer Wrath without having a longer Starfire — basically, either splitting Starlight Wrath into two talents or giving Wrath a longer base cast time (ie, 2.5 seconds, 2 seconds with Starlight Wrath). In the case of the former, people would still be better served with reduced cast time on Wrath, so it would seem the latter (extending the base Wrath cast time by .5 seconds — and presumably increasing its damage to compensate) would be better.

    As for Eclipse, I personally like it. Yeah, sometimes it gets wasted, but it’s not usually a problem for me — maybe I’m just lucky. Still, I think there should be an alternative — some mutually exclusive talent branch that produces equal DPS. Keeping this balanced, of course, would be quite the challenge for Blizz.

    People have also been suggesting that we need a third nuke. I happen to agree. Thus far, I’ve read a few suggestions (from PvP boomkins) that say we need another arcane nuke with a shorter cast time. I also read a pretty cool suggestion from Murmurs over at TMR about a nature spell that would consume your Moonfire and Insect Swarm spells on the target and do increased damage for each (he called it ‘Fury’).

    I have two new spells that would, at the least, liven up our rotation. I tried to make them different enough from other spells/rotations in the game, but they’ll still be similar in some ways.

    Moonharvest – Arcane/Nature damage, 2.0 second cast time, 14 second cooldown, trainable at level 80. Moonharvest is guaranteed to crit if Moonfire is on the target and does increased damage if Insect Swarm is on the target, consuming both DoTs in the process.

    Bountiful Moonharvest (talent) – Reduces the cooldown of Moonharvest by 1/2 seconds and reduces the cast time of Moonharvest by 1/2 seconds.

    Glyph of the New Season (glyph) – Moonharvest refreshes the duration of your Moonfire and Insect Swarm debuffs on the target, but it is no longer guaranteed to crit when Moonfire is on the target. Instead, the chance to crit is increased by 10% when Moonfire is on the target.

    There are several ideas at play here:
    1) This spell acts like frostfire, but with arcane and nature instead. I’m not 100% familiar with how spell lockouts work, but I think this would give PvP boomkins another option when their nature school gets locked out.
    2) There is incentive to keep both DoTs on the target. The Moonfire interaction is akin to the Flame Shock/Lava Burst combo, but this one has a longer cooldown. The Insect Swarm interaction is similar to several death knight abilities that do increased damage per disease.
    3) Reducing the cooldown and cast time with a talent makes it more appealing for PvP — a quick Moonfire/Moonharvest combo could take a good ~10k health out of your opponent quickly. It gives PvP boomkins the burst they don’t really have currently. For PvE, the reduced cast time could give us something else to cast on the move, but it clips our DoTs.
    4) The glyph would be an extremely nice replacement for the Glyph of Starfire. The lack of a guaranteed crit makes it less appealing for PvP, but the refreshed DoTs makes it nicer for PvE.

    Starfury – Arcane damage, 2.0 second cast time, tier 9 or 10 talent. You cannot spec into both Eclipse and Starfury at the same time. Starfury stacks a debuff on the caster that increases your damage and critical strike chance with Wrath by 5% per stack for 6 seconds and reduces your cast time for Starfire by 1 second per stack for 6 seconds, stacks up to 3 times. Once Wrath or Starfire is used, Starfury cannot be used again for 9 seconds.

    Again, this gives us some added viability in PvP when our nature school gets locked out. But, really, we’d be casting this in PvP so if it gets locked out, we can use the debuff this skill grants for Wrath, and we can still heal ourselves.

    In PvE, this gives us a viable alternative to Eclipse that is much less RNG dependent. It also gives us something to use on the move — 6 seconds of instant Starfires. The rotation as a whole is roughly 15 seconds long, with 40% coming from Starfury, 40% coming from Wrath or Starfire with the debuff, and 20% coming from the 3 seconds between the end of the debuff and the end of the Starfury cooldown — the perfect time to throw off a Moonharvest to refresh those DoTs.

    Anyways, not sure how overpowered or not these suggestions would be, but I think they’d make our rotations a lot more fun and adaptable.

  • Sunfyre

    I like your ideas! Another suggestion I’ve seen (and this might be a viable option for Eclipse) is to give it charges instead of a specific duration. What do you think?

  • Xiera

    Charges for Eclipse could work. It’d feel… weird though. We’d be talking like 5 charges for Lunar and 10 charges for Solar? I’d be interested to see how that actually feels in a raid environment (and also PvP — I find it’s easy for us raiders to forget about PvP when we’re making these suggestions).

    Haste would take a significant hit as a result of this suggestion. It’d still be important to cast the Starfires (and Wraths) faster, but it wouldn’t be a case of trying to fit extra Starfires into a limited window. I don’t particularly mind that change, but others might.

    It’s a shame we can’t mess around with these things on our own. Wonder if Blizz would work with a group of us on a private test realm, lol.

  • Sunfyre

    Or just combine the charges into one Eclipse proc, which would allow us to utilize whatever spell we wanted. Due to the issues with Wrath, it would allow us to really focus on Starfire (so we can fully utilize the benefits of haste), but if any reason arises where we need quick casts, they’d be available. ((Such as an impending burrow, stun, etc, where you know you can’t snap off a Starfire))

  • Xiera

    Fair enough. But with that idea, how many charges do you give it? Do we give Eclipse a cooldown like it currently has (or is it just not allowed to proc if it’s already there)? When does the cooldown start (as soon as it procs or after you use all the charges)? How long is the cooldown? Which spell does one use to proc Eclipse? Remember, Blizz wants us using both of our nukes.

  • Sunfyre

    I’m not sure about the specifics. I’d have to sit and brainstorm it. I think you would need to have some sort of RNG to proc it, and once the charges are gone, you’d have to re-proc. Blizzard may want us to use both of our nukes, but people in hell want ice water too. Until Blizzard can make both of our nukes viable, I see no reason why we should be.

  • Seca

    I have wondered myself about having eclipse generate charges instead of a time window. On the plus side I think it would help higher latency players who rely on spell queueing and are more likely to miss the first cast of an eclipse. It would also give us more opportunity to burst at the proper time. Current solar and lunar would stay intact. Any unused charges would expire when the specific cooldown was over.

    The fury/moonharvest sounds like fun, but to me is so similar to warlock’s conflagrate that I doubt Blizz would ever consider it.

  • Xiera

    Hmm, now that I’ve reviewed my destro warlock spells… (Bountiful) Moonharvest sounds like a cross between Incinerate, Conflagrate, and Lava Burst. Unlike Incinerate, it consumes the DoTs by default and has a long cooldown, but has guaranteed crit when Moonfire is on the target. Unlike Conflagrate, it does not require any DoTs to be active on the target, and only gives a percent bonus from the DoTs, not the full value of the DoTs. It has almost twice the cooldown of Lava Burst and does not have a talent to increase your haste when its DoT is consumed.

    So, yes, it’s both better and worse than each of those spells, even as its similar to them all.

    Starfury, on the other hand, is most similar to Arcane Blast, but is MUCH lower in damage, doesn’t provide the additional damage reflexively, and encourages the use of multiple other nukes.

  • Baljet

    For a charge based Eclipse they could change Wrath to extend IS duration like SF does for MF.
    That would keep us using both our nukes like Blizz wants and we’d get to spend less time refreshing debuffs?

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