Archive for January, 2010
Patch 3.3.2 should be released Tuesday. Included in it will be the final wing of Icecrown (but most likely not The Lich King himself). In addition, [spell]Earth and Moon[/spell] is going to be buffed to 2%/4%/6% self damage. Hopefully they’ll add the [spell]Languish[/spell] hotfix in as well. For you PVPers, Season 8 will be released (And the final wing of Vault of Archavon. Go get your free 264 tier pieces!)
Inspired by a certain “other” address last night, I decided to craft a “State of the Moonkin” address, to both reflect backwards on where we’ve come from the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, to where we are now, to where we are headed.
Naxxramas was a pretty good place for us. Most of the fights did not require a whole lot of movement, and we were well below our caps, so we still scaled well. There was an abundance of gear available to us, and even a caster fist weapon was included! Tier 7 was a solid set with solid bonus, and there was plenty of off set gear to be found as well. Moonkin shone on Patchwerk, as it really was the epitome of a stand and nuke fight. Other fights, like Gluth, were great as it allowed us to put up some big numbers due to the heavy AoE. Loatheb was another great fight, as it allowed us to run crit capped for Starfire. This was back in the day where Eclipse had a 30 second shared cooldown, and you tried to sharpshoot Lunar Eclipse.
The Obsidian Sanctum
The Obsidian Sanctum was another decent fight for moonkin. While there was a bit of movement (especially with 3 drakes), our decent AoE damage really helped make up for it. The only problem I noticed with many moonkin was the fact that everyone was so concentrated on their Eclipse cooldown, to ensure a lunar eclipse proc, they often missed the big swirling shadow vortex beneath their feet. Changing the vortex to purple usually fixed that problem. The cloth bracers from bonus loot were also a BiS item until Ulduar.
Due to the spark buff, Malygos was a decent fight for us, as we could time our eclipses and nuke Malygos, throwing up pretty good numbers. Phase 2 was alright despite needing to swap to multiple targets. Another good instance for gear, the belt and boots were best in slot.
Ulduar was for the most part a decent environment for moonkin. Hodir and Hard-mode Vezax were some of the more stellar moonkin fights due to their damage buffs. There were some challenges, however. While a lot of people liked Ignis as a DPS benchmark, I always found that all the times you interrupt casting due to scorch to be a hinderence in Eclipse uptime. The same could be said for Kologarn, however the AoE usually made up for that. Auriaya was another major pain due the feral defender locking out a spell pool, preventing you from utilizing the right Eclipse.
Trial of the Crusader
I was never impressed with Trial of the Crusader. It seemed like a hastily thrown together stopgap between Icecrown Citadel and Ulduar, with very gimmicky fights. ToC was basically a loot pinata. The hard modes were semi-interesting, but not to the level of Ulduar. The best thing about ToC was having 6 days off from raiding a week. None of the fights were extremely moonkin friendly, except perhaps faction champions simply because our armor gives us a higher survivability rate. We also began to see moonkin scale worse and worse as our haste cap was blown by, and due to the changes in Eclipse, we began to rapidly approach our crit cap.
Icecrown Citadel is a much more fair playing ground for moonkin. Most fights seem to be decent for us. Lady Deathwhisper is a great fight if your raid leader knows to leave you on the boss the entire time. Due to our very poor scaling and most well geared moonkin quickly approaching our crit cap, our scaling is rather horrible, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stay in the middle of the pack let alone get near the top. At this point it seems we will need to wait for Cataclysm to see some real changes.
Eclipse has seen many changes over the last year. While I still do not really like how our DPS is centralized around one talent, it seems to be here to stay. Eclipse started out with a short duration buff (10 seconds if I recall correctly), and a longer cooldown, shared by both lunar and solar eclipse. This was quickly changed to a 15 second ability with a 40 second cooldown, with the bonuses doubled. Between Ulduar and ToC is where we saw the changes to Eclipse, which put both abilities on separate cooldowns, allowing us to switch between the two. For a brief time, WiseEclipse allowed us to squeeze out a bit more DPS by allowing back to back lunar to solar procs.
Tier 7 was a decent starter set, however spirit was too abundant on the gear. The bonuses, while not extravagant, were solid.
Tier 8 was another decent set, however again, spirit showed up in too many places. The best thing about tier 8, however, was the 2 piece bonus. This bonus would have lasted well into Tier 10 if it had not been nerfed. The 4pc bonus was always useful for pulling snap agro and dying at the beginning of a fight, as well.
Tier 9 was again, not stellar due to the spirit. The 2 piece tier 9 bonus was rather strong, and paired well with the 2pc tier 8 bonus. The 4 piece bonus, however, was worse then the Tier 7 bonus, and only viable once Tier 8 2 piece was nerfed.
Tier 10 was finally a well itemized set. No spirit! Just as Blizzard promised, they were saving the best for last. The tier 10 bonuses were also well developed, despite there being a bug with [spell]Languish[/spell], causing it to be a level 1 spell, thus giving mobs a 80 percent resist chance. Let’s hope Blizzard can carry this trend into Cataclysm.
Blizzard has already stated that critical strike rating, etc, will be much harder to obtain in Cataclysm. Hopefully that will fix our issue with the crit cap. I think it’s pretty well agreed, however, that to make a second PvE DPS spell viable, it has to be separated from Wrath. Currently moonkin like Wrath being such a quick cast in PvP, as it gives them a quick attack, however due to it’s short cast time, the haste cap is just too low. A new 2.5 second (reduced to 2.0 second by talent) spell would fix a lot of these issues. The developers have also hinted at Eclipse possibly becoming charge based, instead of time based. This will keep us from being penalized so heavily in heavy movement fights. In my opinion, the key to moonkin success in cataclysm will be to reduce our dependence on RNG, and find a way to raise our caps, especially our haste cap.
This has been a brief synopsis of my opinion of the moonkin class in the past, present, and future of Wrath of the Lich King into Cataclysm. I intend to continue playing my balance druid into the next expansion (although possibly as a Worgen, if they let us race change), and really hope they follow through on promises to fix us. We have had great strides in each expansion to make our DPS more viable. Hopefully the fourth time is the charm. Please leave feedback and tell me what you loved the most about WotLK, what you didn’t like, and what you hope to see going forward.
Maybe I’m just too lazy to go through all of the options in Rawr after disgust from it’s default settings, however I fail to see how people continue to cite Rawr as a credible source to find upgrades. I fail to see why it values hit rating so high past cap (or why it values it at all), and why in hell it values haste so high past cap, and why it values MANA PER FIVE AS A SUSTAINABLE DPS TRAIT WHATSOEVER. Can someone please explain this to me?
I too finally picked up [item]Nibelung[/item]. There’s been a flurry of activity throughout the forums and DPS blogosphere about the stats for the Nibelung, so I won’t bore you too much. I’ll try to touch on the main moonkin items:
- Many abilities proc Nibelung. These include [item]Glyph of Starfall[/item], [spell]Earth and Moon[/spell], and [spell]Languish[/spell]. That means when Lunar Eclipse is active, you effectively have quadrupled your proc-rate for the Val’kyrs. (The proc rate is 1%. This assumes you have 4pc T10).
- The val’kyrs currently do not enjoy the same AoE avoidance as hunter pets, treants, etc. However, it seems just like pets, there are some fights in which they are immune to certain AoE damage. (Festergut being an example).
- [item]Glyph of Starfall[/item] may be a wise replacement for [item]Glyph of Insect Swarm[/item]. I’m currently testing it out. Starfall is great at forcing the Nibelung to proc.
- After about 7 minutes on a heroic training dummy, (about 3 million damage worth), the Val’kyrs were 8.2% of my damage. My treants were about 3.6%.
There are some fights the Val’kyr get absolutely raped, so it’s handy to have a good MH/OH combination ready. Blood Queen Lana’thel is one of those fights.
I have sources outside of MMO Champion that are reporting that the Lich King will not be available next week when 3.3.2 goes live, and only Dreamwalker and Sindragosa will be available. We may have to wait another 2 weeks for the Lich King (and then another week for heroics). Heroics will utilize the same raid ID as the normal raid, so you won’t be able to do both, unlike Trial of the Crusader.
Apparently [spell]71023[/spell] is currently set to a level 1 spell. This is causing a 75% resist rate. Ghostcrawler says they “can” hotfix it, but no news about when they will.
MMO Champion reports that 3.3.2 will not be live this week. This means Season 8 won’t start for another week, and they may push the Lich King off a week past that.
The korean patch notes for 3.3.2 confirm that the following change will be live in 3.3.2:
- Earth and Moon: This talent now increases your spell damage by 2/4/6% (Up from 1/2/3%)
It’s a shame we won’t get it this week. MMO Champion is usually not wrong. Hopefully this time they will be?
There were some hotfixes to Crimson Halls today. The Blood Queen hotfix seems to make her much easier. Congratulations to the 160 or so guilds worldwide who killed her pre-nerf!
Blood Prince Council
- Prince Keleseth will no longer melee players. So if you get knocked into Keleseth or happen to move by him, he won’t swipe in between his casts and kill a non-tank.
- The first Shadow Resonance should appear earlier in the fight, which will allow the Keleseth tank to have more orbs on him or her if Keleseth is empowered second instead of third. We didn’t want which Blood Prince was empowered second to be a major element of the difficulty in the fight.
- We reduced the melee damage for the Princes by 10% for the 10 player difficulty. They were doing less damage than the 25 player before the hotfix, but this change lowers the damage further.
- Empowered Flames will now run out of power after shooting fewer firebolts in the 10 player difficulty. We did not change the initial impact damage.
- The Blood-Queen is no longer spawned until the Blood Princes dies. This will prevent any unfortunate entry of her highness while a raid is fighting the Blood Princes. The initial hotfix for this causes the Blood-Queen to not spawn at all in a particular circumstance, but this was also fixed last night.
- We increased the duration of Essence of the Blood Queen to 60 seconds in 25 player difficulty, and 75 seconds in 10 player difficulty. A strategy developed for managing the Essences throughout the fight that involved intentionally killing a player, and this change addresses that strategy. The new timing does interact with some of her other abilities in new ways, but there are methods that players have to lessen that impact.
Killed Blood Queen Lana’thel today. It’s a rather coordinated fight, as well as having a high DPS requirement. I doubt our alt 25man run will be able to kill it for awhile, let alone most casual guilds/pugs. I’ll post a picture of the kill once we have it available.
The Lich King becomes available in two weeks. Are you ready?