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.
It looks like our concerns for single target DPS (and Wrath DPS in particular) have not gone unanswered. While mages and warriors found themselves nerfed, elemental shaman were slightly buffed and moonkin are enjoying a fairly large single target buff:
- Starfire damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
- Starsurge damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
- Wrath damage has been increased by approximately 9%.
- Non-Restoration Druids will now properly get a mana discount when casting Cenarion Ward while Heart of the Wild is active. Feral and Guardian Druids will also properly gain increased healing.
Hopefully this will begin to solve our single target issues as well as damage disparity between solar and lunar.
Here’s an excerpt from Ghostcrawler regarding incoming changes to the Balance rotation:
We are experimenting with some changes to the rotation. No promises that these changes will stay, but we definitely look forward to your feedback (both in terms of theorycrafting and how fun it is). Shooting Stars should occur much more frequently, and Starsurge should be a more important (read: high damage) button. Additionally, we’re adding a new passive that has some interesting implications. Should you choose to ignore it, your DPS will likely be only a few percentage behind someone who uses it optimally, but it should hopefully provide some more varied gameplay. To use some game designer jargon, we’re happy with Moonkins’ macro level rotational gameplay, but think they needs some more mirco-level decisions.
- Shooting Stars chance increased from 20% to 50%.
- Starsurge damage increased by 30%.
- Fae Empowerment: New passive for Balance Druids. When you cast Faerie Fire, you gain Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment.
- Lunar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Starfires within 15 sec by 15%.
- Solar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Wraths within 15 sec by 20%.
Please note that these changes are straight DPS buffs, and we don’t think Moonkin need a buff right now, so we need to reduce overall damage (probably across the board) so that overall DPS stays the same. These nerfs may take a few builds, because we need to evaluate if these rotation changes are worth doing. However, don’t be surprised when you see them, and help spread the word when you see the inevitable “I can’t believe we were nerfed!” posts.
I’m all for making our rotation interesting, making Starsurge and Shooting Stars more impressive. That being said, however, I’m not sure I like forcing us to spam Faerie Fire (which really does nothing for us) every few casts just to get a straight buff on our nukes. It seems silly and awkward.
What do you think?
Also, I haven’t been able to log into my level 89 druid on beta for a month and a half now, and I really don’t have the motivation to level another character to 90. (As soon as I log in, I’m immediately disconnected. Only on that toon, and it happens on the Mac and the Windows client). If for some reason you’re reading this from Blizzard HQ, please make them fix this! Thanks!
A few small balance druid changes can be found in the upcoming patch, mostly concerning PVP:
- Celestial Focus now affects Starsurge.
- Starfire was listed twice, so it wasn’t removed, just fixed. Typhon was removed, but as it was instant cast, it was pointless.
- Glyph of Hurricane now affects Astral Storm.
- This would be obvious and the change is expected.
Still no revision on our level 90 talents. I’m about to launch Occupy Blizzard. Who’s with me?!
Glyph of Stars received a graphics update… I am quite impressed!
PTR for 4.3.2 was deployed, and data started streaming already. What we currently know :
Item – Druid T13 Balance 4P Bonus (Starsurge) now also increases Starsurge damage by 10%.
Finally ! This is a very much welcome change, as our 4 piece pretty much sucked. This will help a bit. Considering Starsurge is somewhere around 10% of my dps nowadays, it’s approximately a 1% dps boost.
What would be the best 4-piece bonus for you, knowing the fights and the Dragon Soul encounters? Do you feel our tier bonuses are underwhelming, comparing to other classes ?
Usually I just tack on updates to the bottom of posts, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw this as there may be some initial confusion (as there was for me).
After the hotfix, Shooting Stars will not be consumed while currently casting starsurge. The behavior IS a little but funky though. If shooting stars procs while you’re casting Starsurge, you’ll briefly notice the countdown on Starsurge start, then reset and the proc aura will light back up. There’s about a half second delay, so if you start seeing your countdown rolling, don’t panic! =)
Rejoice, balance druids!
In an upcoming hotfix today, the following change was implemented:
- The proc buff from the talent Shooting Stars should no longer be consumed without providing its benefits if the druid is already casting Starsurge.
(h/t to Lissanna for the tip)
My highest standard starsurge crit was 69.8k against Deathbringer Saurfang this week.
First off, full credit of these images and video go to AtomicDrood of the MMO-Champion forums, these changes have not hit PTR yet, and I’m still a member of the No Beta Club.
Starsurge was given yet another new graphic in the last beta build, and I must say it looks pretty awesome:
I’m very impressed. AtomicDrood was also kind enough to include a video:
What do you think?
If you copy over your character to the PTR with “Glyph of Nourish”, it’ll magically turn itself into the “Glyph of Starsurge” on the PTR! Go have fun!
If you’ve already copied over and don’t want to burn another copy, I brought over 8 additional glyphs on Broxigar (US-PVP). Come find me and I’ll give you one. I’m Sunfyyre on PTR.