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?)
Not a lot has happened in 5.2 news this week, although Ghostcrawler did end up revealing a slight buff to balance druids tonight.
Note this is an initial pass and numbers may vary. From the PTR forum, Ghostcrawler writes:
I may regret this, because I don’t know that I can capture every one and we iterate on this stuff really rapidly.
We may change a number one day and change it again the next when we look at AE or PvP damage or whatever. If frequent iteration scares you, look away! But in the interest of providing context and helping theorycrafting, I’ll give it a go.DPS Tuning Adjustments-
Arms – Increased Deep Wounds by +100%
Balance – Increased Starfire, Wrath and Starsurge by 9%.
Mind Blast – Increased Mind Blast by 20%. (Yeah I know you have to stop and cast it modulo procs, but I meant in contrast to Mind Flay which makes you really plant.)
I’m glad we do have a buff to our sustained damage, and this will compensate for the nerf to Nature’s Vigil, but it still doesn’t resolve our core issues we have around movement and Nature’s Grace. We’re too dependent on Nature’s Grace for both our AoE DPS as well as our single target DPS, and utilizing it for our AoE DPS just nerfs our continued single target after. Unless the plan is just to make us do so much turret DPS we can afford to take the damage loss during movement, but I don’t see that as being the case, at least not with a 9% increase, and that would just make us overpowered on Patchwerk style fights.
Anyways, it’s a start, let’s see where continued passes take us.
Howdy fellow moonkin!
If you’ve been following my Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve stepped down from raiding and canceled my active subscription. Sunfyre’s Nest is about to turn four, and I’m too old to keep spending as many hours as I have killing internet dragons. Unfortunately I’m an “all or nothing” type player, so I can’t really play casually. This won’t affect my blogging, and I’m going to try to actually editorialize more and provide a weekly roll-up of news and opinions from the last week. I will still be an active participant and moderator in the MMO-Champion Druid Forums.
In actual balance druid news, don’t be dismayed that we haven’t seen much PvE balancing in 5.2. In a response to a PTR question, Ghostcrawler stated the following:
This is a legit PvE nerf, but a very, very small one and as I said, we haven’t made any PvE numbers adjustments to anyone yet. This one is easy to fix without PvP risk and it makes a glyph less mandatory for its DPS benefits.
It does appear the Nature’s Vigil was a PvP nerf. Hopefully we will see some sort of change to counter it for PvE.
Also, if you’ve been following the soap opera that is known as Cyclone, it’s now back to 20 yards, with the 2-piece PvP bonus extending it’s range by 5 yards. Ferals will be hit with a 20 second cooldown.
Still haven’t heard why Force of Nature doesn’t scale with Solar Eclipse. Apparently it’s intended.
That’s all I’ve got for this week!
I’ve been playing around a bit with Force of Nature, now that it’s been buffed on PTR, and here’s what I’ve discovered:
If you look at the tooltip for the Treant’s Wrath, it will appear to scale dynamically off crit, haste, and mastery (Eclipse state) — it does not.
They do, however, scale with the haste and critical strike at time of cast. Right now, without any haste proc’d, my treants each cast 7 times. If Nature’s Grace is proc’d, then they each cast 8, and with Essence of Terror, 9.
With Relic of Yu’lon and Jade Spirit, my treants have a potential for hitting a training dummy for about 377k. Their damage though is very cooldown/haste dependent though, and the fact that they do not scale with mastery really hurts.
There’s also a pretty hefty delay before the treants start casting, as well. With all of my haste abilities popped, I should be able to get 11 wrath casts off, where I’m only getting 9. Under just nature’s grace, or no haste proc’s, I just lose a cast (per tree), but that’s still a considerable amount of damage.I do not think that it’ll be able to contend with Incarnation‘s 25% burst damage for 30 seconds (given that it lines up with Celestial Alignment). If Force of Nature were to scale with Solar Eclipse (which I think is the intent, since the tooltip numbers do update when you enter Solar Eclipse, the damage just does not reflect it), and also grant all of the casts that it SHOULD grant, then I think it might be able to be useful.
Until then, there are some fights where I could see it being useful, where you don’t have 30 full seconds of incarnation peen available to you (heroic bladelord is an example), but that’s about it.
I know not a lot has been posted here, there really hasn’t been a lot going on for balance druids. (For better, worse, or indifferent). I am still pretty active on Twitter, make sure to follow me @SunfyresNest! That being said, I’m about to head on vacation where I won’t have internet access. I’ll see you guys on November 22nd!
This is about a month late, but I figured I’d post it anyways.
I started blogging during September of 2009. ToGC days of Wrath. I know my activity has gone up and down over the last few years as real life tends to claim me, but thanks to everyone who’s been along for the ride!
If I was crafty with images I’d make a pretty 3rd Anniversary feat of strength logo.
Sorry for my lack of activity the last few weeks. Between the Diablo III launch, my move IRL, general lack of Balance Druid changes, and the fact that for almost a month now I have not been able to log into my 89 druid on Beta (even though every other character works just fine), I haven’t really had much to talk about.
I will, however, be joining Team Waffle tonight on their podcast to discuss the level 90 Balance Druid talents. Make sure to check us out live at 8 PM PST, 11 PM EST!