MMO-Champion has datamined the season 14 PVP set. Your thoughts? Click to enlarge.
Here are the tier 16 bonuses as datamined from the PTR:
- Item – Druid T16 Balance 2P Bonus (New) Arcane spells cast while in Lunar Eclipse will shoot a single Starfall bolt at the target. Nature spells cast while in a Solar Eclipse will shoot a single Sun bolt at the target.
- Item – Druid T16 Balance 4P Bonus (New) Every time you enter Solar or Lunar Eclipse, the cooldown of Celestial Alignment is reduced by 3 sec.
According to the data-mining by MMO-Champion, a lot of changes are ahead. While most of the changes were done to assist restoration druids in their healing issues, there were also some changes to balance druids. (I removed the parts of talents not applicable to balance. Mouseover them to see the entire new (and old) tooltips).
- Innervate Causes the target to regenerate
10% of the caster’s maximum mana over 10 sec. If cast on self, the caster will regenerate an additional 10% of maximum mana over10 sec. Can be cast in Tree of Life Form, Moonkin Form. 30 yd range. Instant. 3 min cooldown.
8.4%of Base Mana.
- Eclipse Your Wrath now generates Lunar Energy and your Starfire now generates Solar Energy. Solar Eclipse When you reach 100 Solar Energy you will trigger a Solar Eclipse, increasing all Nature damage done by 15%. Lunar Eclipse When you reach 100 Lunar Energy you will trigger a Lunar Eclipse, increasing all Arcane damage done by 15% and transforming your Hurricane spell into Astral Storm. When triggered, both Lunar and Solar Eclipse grant 15% spell haste for 15 sec and energize you for
35%of your maximum mana. Druid – Balance Spec.
- Moonkin Form Shapeshift into Moonkin Form, increasing Arcane and Nature damage you deal by 10%
and reducing all damage you take by 15%. The Druid cannot cast healing spells while shapeshifted. While in this form, you increase the spell haste of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of movement impairing effects. Can’t be cast in Tree of Life Form. Druid – Balance Spec. 9.3% of Base Mana. Instant.
10.3%of Base Mana.
- Starsurge You fuse the power of the moon and sun, launching a devastating blast of energy at the target. Causes [ 4,970 + 238.8% of Spell Power ] Spellstorm damage to the target and generates 20 Lunar or Solar energy, whichever is more beneficial to you. Can be cast in Moonkin Form. Can’t be cast in Tree of Life Form. Druid – Balance Spec.
10.3%of Base Mana. 40 yd range. 2 sec cast. 15 sec cooldown.
- Dream of Cenarius
Wrath, Starfire, Starsurge, and melee abilities increase healing done by your next healing spell by 30%. Tranquility is not affected. Nourish, Healing Touch, and Regrowth increase the damage done by your next 2 Moonfire or Sunfire casts by 50% or by your next 2 melee abilities by 25%. Each of these bonuses lasts 30 sec. Druid – LvL 90 Talent.
- Heart of the Wild Increases Stamina, Agility, and Intellect by 6% at all times. When activated, dramatically improves the Druid’s ability to perform roles outside of their normal specialization for 45 sec. Grants the following benefits based on current specialization: Non-Guardian While in Bear Form, Agility, Expertise, Hit Chance, and armor bonuses increased, Vengeance granted, chance to be hit by melee critical strikes reduced. Non-Feral While in Cat Form, Agility, Hit Chance, and Expertise increased. Non-Restoration
Healing increased andmana cost of all healing spells reduced by 100%. Guardian Druids may also cast Rejuvenation while shapeshifted.
- Mass Entanglement Roots your target in place for 20 sec and spreads to additional nearby enemies
. Affects 5 total targets. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Useable in all shapeshift forms. Can’t be cast in Flight Form. Limited to 5 targets.Druid – LvL 45 Talent. 30 yd range. Instant. 30 sec cooldown.
- Nature’s Vigil Increases all damage and healing done by 10% for 30 sec. While active, all single-target healing spells also damage a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done, and all single-target damage spells and abilities also heal a nearby friendly target for 25% of the
damagedone. Druid – LvL 90 Talent. Instant. 1.5 min cooldown.
- Soul of the Forest Aessina’s blessing grants a benefit which varies by your combat specialization. Balance .
- Ysera’s Gift (New) Every 5 sec, heals you for 5% of your maximum health. If you are at full health, the most injured nearby ally will be healed instead. Can’t be cast in Moonkin Form. 30 yd range. Instant.
So, to recap:
Innervate is being nerfed for balance druids. Since it now revolves around the caster’s spirit, a resto druid innervate will regen much more mana than balance. Our spell costs are being increased, but our mana return from Eclipse is being increased as well.
Moonkin Form is being nerfed in that it no longer grants 15% passive damage reduction.
Our level 90 talents have all been re-worked, although only DoC really changes, the other changes were to boost restoration. Dream of Cenarius now grants a boost to Eclipse damage, but with the removal of Nature’s Swiftness, you’ll have to hardcast a heal to get to it.
Mass Entanglement is having it’s root cap limit removed.
Soul of the Forest is being re-worked to give a chance to instantly swap to an Eclipse (by choice), by tethering the instant Eclipse to Astral Communion.
I’m glad restoration has been given some perks, but it seems it was done at the cost of the other specs. Removing Nature’s Swiftness is a pretty big survival nerf to moonkin, and makes Dream of Cenarius (even reworked) a pain, as it requires hardcasting. It seems that now restoration is the only “non-hybrid” spec, as they can heal and get full range of benefits of all talent choices. Restoration also saw boosts in areas like Nature’s Vigil, that will boost their healing — even when healing. It’d be nice to see that our damage also caused splash damage as well.
Blizzard made a few attempts to fix Force of Nature — the problem was that they would start to walk around and act crazy if their Wrath cast time was less then that of the global cooldown.
First, Blizzard increased the cast duration from 2.0 seconds to 2.5 seconds (while increasing the damage by 25%). This helped, but with the meta gem proc and Nature’s Grace, it was still very easy to hit the global cooldown.
Next, they reduced the global cooldown to .5 seconds. This has solved the problem. Force of Nature seems to be very viable on most of the fights in ToT. Enjoy treants that for the first time in WoW history … don’t suck!
Also, a small hotfix was made to Solar Beam. It seems you could spell reflect the silence back onto yourself:
5.3 goes live this week, and there’s not too many changes for balance druids (for better, worse, or indifferent):
Here’s a recap:
- Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses its special abilities on the Druid’s current target, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges. Balance Force of Nature will cast entangling roots before casting Wrath.
- Glyph of Solar Beam changed to Glyph of Omens: While you are not in an Eclipse, the following abilities now grant 10 Solar or Lunar Energy: Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Faerie Fire, Faerie Swarm, Mass Entanglement, Typhoon, Disorienting Roar, Ursol’s Vortex, and Mighty Bash.
One small note:
It seems that Force of Nature gets crazy at high values of haste (9.5k+), when the meta gem or Nature’s Grace proc. At those high values of haste, the trees begin to walk around and cast entangling roots and not cast as many Wrath as they are supposed to. (Possibly GCD capped?). Slippykins has discussed this in the MMO-Champion forum post here.
A change has been made to tranquility and how many targets it effects. This should be a large buff to our utility. Unfortunately, there are no changes to balance incoming so far.
- Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.
A change has been made to Force of Nature that makes it instant cast, not require targeting, and also have three charges. This allows virtually 100% uptime of a single treant.
- Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses its special abilities on the Druid’s current target, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges.
- Restoration version of the Treant now casts Swiftmend on the Druid’s target when summoned. This version of Swiftmend does not require or consume a heal-over-time effect on the target.
In an effort to give balance some sort of PvE glyph (or maybe just nerf Solar Beam more), the Glyph of Solar Beam is changed on the PTR to the Glyph of Omens:
While you are not in an Eclipse, the following abilities now grant 10 Solar or Lunar Energy: Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Faerie Fire, Faerie Swarm, Mass Entanglement, Typhoon, Disorienting Roar, Ursol’s Vortex, and Mighty Bash.
This has already changed once, Solar Beam was removed, so it could likely change again. Using Faerie Fire/Swarm while on the run will obviously be a help for movement DPS.
Also, treants were modified to cast an instant spell on summon to help avoid the summon lag. Resto druids were given swiftmend which seems great, however balance druids were given… entangling roots. Which does nothing for PvE. Hopefully they’ll re-think this and give us some sort of PvE boon. (Shooting stars proc, perhaps?)
My apologies for not having a weekly round up the last few weeks, things have been pretty hectic at home.
It’s now confirmed that patch 5.2 arrives tomorrow. Let’s take a look at what’s changed:
- Displacer Beast has been redesigned. It now triggers Cat Form and grants 50% increased movement speed for 4 seconds after teleporting, and no longer activates Prowl.
- The healing granted by Cenarion Ward when a target takes damage has been increased by 100%.
- Revive and Mark of the Wild now cost 55% less mana.
- Faerie Swarm can now snare more than one target at a time.
- Mass Entanglement now has a 30-second cooldown (was 2 minutes).
- Typhoon now has a 30-second cooldown (was 20 seconds).
- The Treants summoned by Force of Nature now deal more damage and healing, and the Force of Nature tooltip will report the capabilities of these summoned pets.
- Soul of the Forest
- Balance: Now generates 40 Lunar or Solar energy upon leaving Eclipse.
- Nature’s Vigil now has a 90-second cooldown (was 3 minutes), and now increases damage and healing done by 10% (was 20%).
- Wrath damage has been increased by 9%.
- Starfire damage has been increased by 9%.
- Starsurge damage has been increased by 9%.
- Starfall will no longer strike targets that are affected by crowd control effects.
All in all, we didn’t see that many changes. The Soul of the Forest ‘buff’ really wasn’t much of a buff, and Incarnation should still win out in most if not all fights. The only major PvE change was the nerf to Nature’s Vigil, which is going to make HotW the go-to talent in non-burst window fights. Force of Nature treants still suck.
The damage increase to Starfire/Wrath/Starsurge are a bandaid fix to our actual problem (movement and aoe). The Starfall change was a change that was SUPPOSED to go into effect back in Wrath of the Lich King (but never did, despite it making the patch notes).
Here’s some comments from Ghostcrawler regarding both. A change was made specifically to the balance druid proc rate for the Unerring Vision which brought it down to par with the other trinkets.
Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen – 0.50 RealPPM on damage/absorb from harmful spells and periodic spells. No ICD. Proc rate multiplied by 0.00 for non-caster specs. Proc rate multiplied by 0.5 for Balance Druids. Proc rate multiplied by 0.25 against player controlled units. Proc rate multiplied by 1/(1.15^((528-ItemLevel)/15) for the various Item Level versions of the trinket.
Sinister Primal Diamond – 1.18 base RealPPM on damage/absorb of harmful or periodic spell. No ICD.
- That base proc rate is multiplied by an additional coefficient:
0.302 Fire Mage
1.387 Frost Mage
Anyone Else: 1.000
The Unerring Vision will not be the end-all be-all of trinkets now,
however the rather high proc rate for Balance Druids with the meta gem is rather curious. Ghostcrawler has updated the values, which still aren’t horrible.
I will not be raiding this tier (I actually think my subscription is canceled by this point), so be sure to let me know what you think of 5.2! Leave a comment or reach me on Twitter @SunfyresNest.
I thought I was going to have a really boring weekly round-up until I read something in the MMO-Champion Druid Forums today.
Stommped asked Ghostcrawler why Balance Druids had dynamic-crit on their DoT ticks, whereas every other class had static snapshot values. Here’s the response:
Good question. We decided to dig into all of the dots and found they worked pretty inconsistently. (Consistency isn’t always critical because it does lead to a certain amount of homogeneity, but too little consistency can just be confusing too.) We made a pass at all of the class dots and made them snapshot crit chance. This will have implications in any simulations out there.
However, this has some implications on the Unerring Vision of Lei Shen trinket. We’re tentatively fine with the idea of you seeing that proc go off, and reapplying DoTs which crit for their whole duration, in most cases. There’s a couple cases where those periodic crits cause other effects, which end up being very powerful. For example, a Balance Druid can now apply Moonfire and Sunfire, and pretty much chain instant Starsurges for 15 sec, many of which are extending that Moonfire and Sunfire, probably out to 20-25 sec. That’s extremely strong, but we’re going to try leaving it alone for now.
This change is going to be a huge DPS increase, especially with the trinket. Consequently (given it were to proc), it would help alleviate problems with movement DPS.
I was really planning on using this round up to rant about our movement DPS and AoE DPS, and the 9% buff (while welcome) is just a bandaid to our DPS issues and not really solving the problem. I guess I’ll table that for now.
It is important to note, though, how one person can make positive change for a spec.