Archive for May, 2012

Beta Build 15726: Druid Tier 14 Armor

by on May.23, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria, PVP Discussion

I missed this in the previous preview, but the Druid Tier 14 set has been datamined by MMO-Champion.  What do you think?  Click the image to see the full size version.

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Beta Build 15726: Eclipse Cooldown!

by on May.23, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

A lot of changes were added in 15726, and I’m not sure all of them are definite (the delta in damage between Hurricane and Arcane Storm, for example):

The last one is something we’ve been asking for for a long time.  I’m glad it’s finally made it’s way to fruition.
The issue I have with the change to Wild Mushrooms, the balancing around the Eclipses, etc, is it feels very bland.  Neither Eclipse has it’s own flavor.  The only real differentiation between Eclipses now is whether we cast Starfire or Wrath.  They might as well make those two abilities swap depending on an Eclipse, just like Moonfire and Sunfire.  There is no skill, no differentiation, nothing that makes one Eclipse feel different or unique from the other.

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Beta: Incoming Mushroom Nerf?

by on May.23, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

We’ve already seen a considerable nerf to Wild Mushrooms (halving of the damage co-efficient), but if Ghostcrawler truly did not mis-speak, it looks like another nerf may be on the way:

Mushrooms don’t benefit from Eclipse and really it’s targeted more at something you set up before targets arrive. You then use Hurricane once they’re there. That’s the intent, anyway, and if it’s not there yet, then we’ll get it there.

This feels a lot like the Lunar Shower change halfway through Cataclysm.  Give us an ability, then regret giving it to us so you nerf it into the ground so it’s unusable.

Welp, congratulations on Wild Mushrooms, trees.  Looks like you’ll be the only ones using them.

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Eclipse mechanic changes in the future? Insect Swarm returning

by on May.19, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler has been commenting on the forums regarding a possibility of Insect Swarm returning and the effect it would have.  Ghostcrawler is not happy with the way the Eclipse mechanic has turned out (who has been?).  In Cataclysm, it was all about critter farming to charge it up, and solar cleave for DPS.  He’s worried that they’re now too far at the other end of the spectrum where the game drives our Eclipse mechanic and tells us what to cast with very little input/decision from the player on when they’re in an Eclipse.

From the forums:

We are in fact experimenting with adding Insect Swarm back to the rotation.

As well as:

If we add Insect Swarm back, it would not be just to have another dot to manage, but to give players some way to interact with solar or lunar power more. There are other ways to do that too, so it may not ultimately be Insect Swarm. The rotation is close to where we want it, but it needs just a little more to play with.

At the 5000 foot view, the point of the Eclipse mechanic to begin with was to cast X spells for a time, then switch to Y spells with the Druid having some control over when or why that occurred. We don’t think killing critters to get the bar moving or gaming it so that you stayed at one side of the bar forever really delivered on the vision for Eclipse. However, those tactics did give players some control — a way to game things so that more clever players could extract a bit more performance out of the mechanic.

We are concerned that we are too far to the other extreme now, where the game UI tells you whether to use your solar buttons or lunar buttons and you really aren’t making any strategic decisions. We want to introduce some relatively simple, elegant mechanic to give you more control over how much lunar or solar power you have. Maybe that’s Insect Swarm. Maybe it’s something else. Try it out over the next few builds, keeping in mind that it may take a bit before we have something we are satisfied with.

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Beta Build 15689: Level 90 Nerfs

by on May.12, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

Another beta build was pushed today, and already our tier 90 talents are being nerfed.

  • Cenarion Ward now costs 14.8% of Base Mana, down from 22.4%.
  • Dream of Cenarius now increases healing done by your next healing spell by 70%, up from 30%. Tranquility is no longer affected.
  • Nature’s Vigil now increases all damage and healing done by 20% for 30 sec, down from 30%. Single target spells now damage or heal a nearby target for 25% of the damage/healing done, down from 50%.

Cenarion Ward seems pretty useless to me. It’s an underpowered rejuvenation, and after the change, is slightly cheaper.  It has higher tick values but overall less healing.  I guess a feral may like it because they can cast it in form, but it just seems pretty underpowered.  With the exception of leveling up to 90, I cannot find a use for it over Renewal.

The Dream of Cenarius nerf means there is absolutely no reason for me to use this in PVE.  Tranquility was the only reason I ever would have thought about it.  The only thing I could possibly think of now would be in PVP, given that it affects Renewal.  Might of Ursoc + Renewal heals for a huge chunk of damage, and if you can add 70% to that, you’re pretty much getting a self-Lay on Hands.

The Nature’s Vigil nerf means the overall sustained damage from Nature’s Vigil is only 3.33%, versus ~6% for Heart of the Wild.  Unless you see some sort of burn phase where you get a bonus damage modifier, Nature’s Vigil will seem much less attractive.  I’ll have to see what kind of numbers it pulls with Celestial Alignment + Bloodlust.

Also, the Horde bear form incarnation graphics were datamined as well, courtesy of MMO-Champion:

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Beta Build 15677: Moar Druid Changes

by on May.10, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

MMO-Champion has data-mined a lot of interesting things have been added to beta build 15677.  First off, the druid cat forms now have armor for incarnation.  We can expect the same for moonkin coming along shortly.

(Images credited to MMO-Champion)

Night Elf Cat Form

Tauren Cat Form

As for the spell changes:

  • Hurricane now costs 50.3% of Base Mana, down from 75.5% of Base Mana.
  • Moonfire base DoT-damage has been increased by 11%.
  • Ursol’s Vortex now has a 20 yards range. (Bug Fix)
  • Heart of the Wild tooltip clarification: 6% Agility and Intellect bonus applies at all times.
  • Nature’s Vigil now only affect single-target healing and damage spells.

The change to Nature’s Vigil is expected, since Mushrooms, Starfall, Hurricane, etc would have made it quite OP.  The mana reduction to Hurricane is nice, although I’m still not sure if I like where the damage is.  We’ll need Recount to really tell.  The Moonfire DoT increase is welcomed, but DoTs are still weaker compared to Cataclysm by a considerable amount in both damage and duration, so I’m still not satisfied.

Other various abilities and talents also had their wording clarified that they can’t be cast in travel or aquatic form.  Basically, if an ability does not specifically specify “in all forms”, it won’t work in either of those two.

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The problems with Force of Nature

by on May.09, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

I was bored tonight and decided to play a bit with Force of Nature.  Here’s what I found:

  • Treants now scale with the casters haste and crit, but not mastery.
  • The melee swings scale better with intellect then Wrath does.  Turning off Wrath causes them to melee for twice as much damage as each Wrath cast.
  • Wrath and the melee swing also scale with agility.  They do 2x as much damage if I’m in cat form when they’re out, since I get the int->agi conversion.

I’m not sure what their end goal of Force of Nature is, but right now the Wrath is in horrible shape.  If it were to have the same scaling as melee and also inherit our Eclipse damage, then they might possibly be viable, but I doubt it.

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Beta Build 15668: Level 90 Changes

by on May.08, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

MMO-Champion has datamined patchnotes for the upcoming beta build, and they reflect the changes promised by Ghostcrawler:

Do not be worried that Moonkin Form is not in the above list — shapeshifting roots from Moonkin Form was always available.

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Ghostcrawler: Level 90 Talents Revamped

by on May.07, 2012, under Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler recently posted in the beta forum regarding level 90 druid talents, here’s what he has to say:

We’re not yet happy with the druid level 90 row. We still like the theme of it playing into the druid’s hybrid nature and we want to reassure you (which I think most of you already know) that druids won’t do lower damage or healing compared to other classes just because some other class has an unambiguous throughput increasing talent at level 90. Classes are balanced around their whole package.

Nonetheless, we want the bottom row of talents to be exciting. In the next (hopefully) build, you’ll see a few changes.

Disentanglement — no longer a talent. Shapeshifting for all druids just breaks roots.

Dream of Cenarius — increases damage spells by 70% (up from 30%).

Heart of the Wild — now also grants 6% passive Agility and Intellect.

Nature’s Vigil — replaces Disentanglement. Increases all damage and healing done by 30% for 30 sec, with a 3 min cooldown. While active, all healing spells also damage a nearby target for 50% of healing done, and all damage spells and abilities also heal a nearby friendly target for 50% of the damage done.Let us know how they feel once you get a chance to try them.

I am happy for these changes, and Nature’s Vigil is the type of talent we’ve been asking for.  Having disentanglement returned baseline for ALL specs (it already was for balance) is also a nice touch.

We now have two throughput increasing talents:  Heart of the Wild, which is a passive 6% intellect boost at all times, or Nature’s Vigil, which is a burst DPS boost.  Depending on the fight will depend which option we go for.  I’m afraid no one will actually take Heart of the Wild for anything BUT the passive stat boost, however.  The rest of the talent could not exist and I doubt anyone would care.

What’s your opinion?

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