Mists of Pandaria
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.
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.
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.
Another change in the never-ending saga that is Cyclone … it’s range is now 20 yards. The tier gloves, however, continue to extend the range by 5 yards.
The cooldown has also been lowered for ferals from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.
New patch notes for PTR were posted, and a few additions and changes were made:
- Cyclone range has been increased to 30 yards (was 20), and it now has a 30-second cooldown for Feral Druids. In addition, it will now share diminishing returns with Banish, Seduction, Bind Elemental, Hex, Freezing Trap, Wyvern Sting, Gouge, Sap, Hibernate, Paralysis, Polymorph, Ring of Frost, Repentance, and Quaking Palm.
- Starfall will no longer strike targets that are affected by crowd control effects.
- Balance/Restoration Druid PvP Gloves: Bonus now increases Cyclone duration by 2 seconds (previously increased Cyclone range by 5 yards).
A few changes came out after this, which haven’t been officially posted:
- Cyclone range was reduced to 25 yards, but now the Balance/Restoration Druid PvP Gloves yet again increase range by 5 yards.
I’m excited if Starfall not breaking CC actually works.
For nostalgia, here’s a hotfix that was applied back on July 1st, 2011:
Starfall is no longer hitting targets that are within 40 yards if they are not in combat with the druid or his/her party/raid members. It is targeting all hostile characters in combat with the druid’s party/raid members, is not hitting Stealth characters, is not breaking crowd control effects, and is not targeting nearby critters.
Maybe now it’ll actually work.
Karnudge, a Sunfyre’s Nest reader, recently tweeted Ghostcrawler regarding Force of Nature treants not scaling with Solar Eclipse, and here was the response:
Sounds like we’ll be sticking with Incarnation, regardless of the situation.
- Item – Druid T15 Balance 2P Bonus (New) Increases the critical strike chance of Starsurge by 10%.
- Item – Druid T15 Balance 4P Bonus (New) Nature’s Grace now also grants 1,000 critical strike and 1,000 mastery for its duration.
Oddly enough, the 4P bonus is probably weaker than our current 4PC, considering we get additional DoT ticks and get to reforge about 1500 mastery to crit.
What are your thoughts? I think these are much weaker than T14.
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.
Our friends at MMO-Champion have rendered a video modeling tier 15 and season 13 gear on a few races. What do you think?