The following hotfix was applied which affects Moonkin. I am not sure if this was a specific 5.0.5 bug because I have noticed for quite awhile (before 5.0.5) that you can no longer stack a Shooting Stars starsurge immediately following a starfire departing an eclipse for the bonus eclipsed nuke. I guess since they now fixed the eclipse lag entering an eclipse, it was only fair.
Eclipse should no longer provide bonus damage after it fades.
Now that the Mists of Pandaria patch has been pushed to live and we now see what most likely will be our toolkit (at least to start with), I’ll begin posting my opinions.
Overall, I’m happy with the toolkit we have. The changes to Eclipse, giving us both Moonfire and Sunfire, Astral Communion, and our cooldowns are very nice. I no longer feel penalized at the start of a fight.
Multi-dotting is a great tool, especially with multiple adds up, because Starsurge procs back to back to back.
Celestial Alignment is great to punch out extra DPS in periods where you know you’ll have some sort of damage modifier, or you have a long period to stand and nuke.
With Soul of the Forest, Eclipse transitions are a joke, especially at our high haste values in Cataclysm. I can easily make it between Eclipses with Nature’s Grace still active.
There are however, some large problems that I see, mostly in the number balancing that has recently occurred:
- Wrath and Solar Eclipse in general is extremely weak for direct damage DPS. They wanted to add “flavor” to our Eclipses, so they buffed Hurricane and nerfed Wrath.
- The problem with this is obvious: We spend much more time in a direct damage mode than in a AoE mode. This methodology would work fine if we could keep ourselves in one Eclipse and only switch when we needed to switch between direct damage and AoE, but that isn’t the case, and at that point Eclipse wouldn’t be much more than a stance that we’d have to manage.
- We still see the ebb and flow damage in Eclipse that we did in Cataclysm, however now instead of being weak just between Eclipses, we’re weak for everything EXCEPT Lunar Eclipse.
- At this point I’d be much more happy if they got rid of this “flavor” and balanced both Eclipses, which is what they initially did in Mists beta.
For reference, Starfire did 19% of my damage on a recent LFR Deathwing fight (9m) while Wrath did 13% (6.6m).
What are your initial impressions?
A new beta build has been released, and while the patch notes don’t discuss much, there’s actually quite a bit of changes in store for Balance.
Here’s what’s been discovered so far:
- Fae Alignment has been removed.
- Euphoria revamped. Now doubles all Eclipse energy outside of Eclipse.
- Eclipse revamped. DoTs are no longer extended while under Eclipse.
- Moonfire and Sunfire revamped. Now lasts 18 seconds. For Balance only, Starsurge and Wrath(Solar)/Starfire(Lunar) critical strikes extend the DoT by one tick.
- Sunfire is now a separate spell (Balance only) that can be cast at any time.
- Astral Communion duration now 4 seconds. Restores 25 energy per second.
- PVP 4-pc bonus revamped: Allows Astral Communion to be cast while moving.
This changes a lot of things with our rotation. After playing around a bit on beta, it seems the way to go is passive abilities. With Soul of the Forest, it takes exactly two Starfires to go from Lunar to Solar Eclipse. Incarnation also consumes a global cooldown, which is pretty awkward. While it may seem cool to keep 100% uptime on both DoTs, I don’t think wasting a GCD is worth it, especially since we can move Eclipses so much faster now. Mastery obviously will be a much more important stat for us now, as will crit (due to the DoT extension).
What are your opinions of the change? I’m quite happy.
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.
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.
I was running around the Jade Forest today, unleashing my Wrath upon critters when I noticed…. my Eclipse bar didn’t move. Apparently in Mists of Pandaria you’ll no longer be able to charge ze lasers by attacking poor defenseless critters.
There was quite a bit of Moonkin PvP today in Dawn’s Blossom on beta, and I was able to get a feel for how PvP is shaping up. I’m a bit concerned.
First off, the loss of Insect Swarm as a DoT really makes hardcasting much more important, and it’s still very hard to do that considering how many classes have an interrupt/spell pool lockout. And to counter, Solar Beam still has a high cooldown and is not effective against a caster more than once.
So far it appears our snares and roots are right where they should be, although I’m not sure about reducing the charges on Nature’s Grasp from 3 to 1.
Right now, besides hardcasting, the only option we have is to spam moonfire and utilize Lunar Showers. Additionally, we will no longer get Nature’s Grace right out of the gate in arena, since it is solely tied to Eclipse now.
An ability that should be useful for druids is Celestial Alignment, but honestly, the usefulness is limited for a few reasons:
- The initial strike is not applied for both moonfire and sunfire, you only get the additional DoT ticks. This is pretty crippling.
- Since there’s only one initial strike it only stacks lunar shower once per application.
- Lunar/Solar energy resets to 0 when you’re done.
I think the issues with Celestial Alignment are easily fixable. Right now, it sets your energy to 0 at the start and finish of Celestial Alignment. I propose we no longer set the energy to 0 at the end. Starfire, Starsurge, and Wrath do not gain/consume energy under Celestial Alignment, so the only energy gains would be from our 4 piece PVP bonus. I’ve verified that we properly get energy when crit under Celestial Alignment.
Also, causing Moonfire to apply the Sunfire initial damage under Celestial Alignment would help out a lot for burst as well.
Fixing Celestial Alignment alone won’t fix our problems with hardcasting and interrupts, but it’s a start. Perhaps some sort of interrupt immunity (or even 50% change of immunity) while under Owlkin Frenzy would do the trick.
I earlier reported that Eclipse was being buffed to 20% baseline damage. That’s actually incorrect. Eclipse is being nerfed to 20% baseline damage.
While Eclipse used to provide 16% baseline damage (and the armory still reports this when you mouse over mastery), it was increased in live to a 25% boost, thus, the baseline is actually being nerfed by 5%.
Overall, Eclipse will still scale better with mastery, as each point of mastery will grant us 2.5% versus 2.0%. I believe this was the main intention, to give us an attractive stat outside of haste.
To overcome the nerf to base mastery, you simply need 2.00 mastery. Anything above that will be more damage then the current form.
(8.00 (base) + 2.00 (additional))* 2.0% + 25 = 45% damage
Mists of Pandaria:
(8.00 (base) + 2.00 (additional)) * 2.5% + 20 = 45% damage
I’ve had this idea for quite some time, and talked about it briefly, but I’ve sat down and thought about it a bit harder.
5 minute cooldown
“You instantly align yourself with the nearest Eclipse. If you are currently are neutrally aligned, the Eclipse will be random.”
This would both solve our issue in PVP where we are extremely weak in Arena until we get crit enough to Eclipse (LOL at that dumb mechanic), as well as RBGs. Trying to hard cast against any decent arena or RBG team is nearly impossible. This would also solve our lackluster DPS whenever we are on a boss after a wipe and do not have enough critters left to start in Solar Eclipse.
Playing around on live, it looks like a few changes have been made to Eclipse:
- The 4 piece bonus from Tier 12 is now applied BEFORE Euphoria. This means you can get 50 energy Starfires.
This is causing ‘predict energy’ in Balance Power Tracker to not fire properly if you have 4pc T12. If you have both, I suggest you turn off ‘forsee energy’ for now.
I was able to pick up the [item]70142[/item] today, and I began doing some tests with a fellow balance druid friend. I realized that either my thinking of how Mastery works has always been WAY off base, or they’ve changed how Mastery affects Eclipse since the start of 4.0. If I’m way off base, I’m not the only one, because I know other balance druids who shared the same thought.
The tooltip for Eclipse is misleading. The damage reflected by the tooltip is based on the mastery value when you actually proc the Eclipse buff. I had mistakenly understood that your Eclipse actually maintains this value of damage, even if additional mastery falls off. (Such as which is provided by the Chalice or [item]65105[/item].). This is not the case. The damage you do under Eclipse is reflected by the amount of mastery you currently have. If mastery falls, your Eclipse damage will fall as well (although the tooltip will not reflect such). If you gain mastery after proc’ing Eclipse, your Eclipse damage also increases, without a change to the tooltip.
This is going to cause me to re-think how I value mastery. I realize I’m probably a giant tool for not understanding this a lot sooner, but I know I’m not the only one.