Starsurge damage has been reduced by 20%.I was pretty surprised by this note, and judging from the email I've gotten it seems like many of you were also. I've done some rough calculations using SimulationCraft, WrathCalcs and World of Logs Data, and I estimate this change to be about a 3% decrease to Moonkin DPS. To say the least this sucks, but all nerfs suck. The question that I would like answered now is: Why?
When questioning a nerf the first consideration should always be if the class or spec is over powered. Personally, I haven't felt overpowered, but I have had a bit of a rough time raiding since the release of Cataclysm. Therefore, I might not have the best perspective. However, I also haven't heard any QQ about Moonkin DPS from other classes. So, my gut reaction is that Moonkin are not overpowered, but lets look at some numbers to see if we can see a different story.
SimulationCraft: The first place I wanted to look was SimulationCraft. I wanted to see how Moonkin ranked against the other caster specs. I ran simulations for each of the main caster specs using the BiS profiles at a 372 gear level provided by SimulationCraft.
|Gear 372 ilvl||26,580||26,187||27,951||27,276||28,307|
World of Logs: SimulationCraft is great in theory, but doesn't really represent what happens when a human is pushing the buttons. So lets take a look at some WoL info.
At the bottom of this post, I've listed some ranking info from World of Logs. I've included the #1 and #200 ranked parse of each spec for every 25man Normal mode fight available in T11 raiding. I pulled the data on 03/03/11.
For the record, I fully understand that this data does not accurately represent the WoW playing population as a whole. This data is skewed by favorable RNG, and represents a tiny portion of the population. My guess is that Blizzard has much better data and sees a more complete picture, but this is the only thing that is available to me.
The results varied significantly depending on the fight. Moonkin DPS was close to the top on several fights, but was towards the bottom on others. Valiona & Theralion was the only fight I saw where significantly ahead of other classes on a consistent basis and Shadow Priests are right there with us.
DPS Conclusions: Looking at this data it's obvious Moonkin aren't weak, but I think it would be hard to argue that we are systematically better then the other classes. At the very least I don't think it warns a 3% nerf.
While Moonkin come out a head on some fights, we fall behind on others. It was my understanding Blizzard expected that some fights would be better for some classes, and that is ok. Therefore, I don't see a problem with how the DPS is currently distributed, because it's not consistent or overwhelming.
In my opinion Moonkin are not overpowered, and I would be surprised if that is the reason behind the nerf.
I also keep asking myself, why nerf Starsurge? If they thought Moonkin were to high, then Moonfury is a much better tool then Starsurge. They've already nerfed moonkin with it once, and have shown that they don't have a problem going below the current level of 10%. Since they focused on a single spell that makes me think there is a specific problem they are trying to solve rather then a general issue like to much DPS.
To Much Synergy: Since I only play PvE, I of course start to think of reasons why would Starsurge be a problem in PvE. The only thing I could think of is that they underestimated the amount of Synergy there would be between DoTs, Shooting Stars, and Starsurge. Some of the best WoL parses I looked at were moonkin maintaining DoTs on multiple targets and getting an large number of Shooting Stars procs.
It's possible that Blizzard might want to calm that relationship down, but I have a hard time believing that. Even if there is more synergy between those abilities then Blizzard expected, I don't think it's resulted in a DPS imbalance. Then I remembered, the main reason why we can never have nice things.
PvP Burst: To much Synergy might be the right answer, but I applied it to the wrong area of play. Blizzard has been trying to limit Burst DPS in PvP for years. They don't want players to go from full to dead in a very short period of time. With Starsurge and Shooting Stars a moonkin can put out a lot of DPS in a every short period of time with a little help from RNG.
As any many of you know I don't PvP, so I don't know if this is really happening in game, but it sounds possible. If I had to guess, I would say Starsurge is getting nerfed because Blizzard believes it's too powerful in PvP.
Getting nerfed sucks, and I think most of us were surprised by the Starsurge nerf when we saw it. After looking at the DPS data that is available to players I highly doubt that Moonkin are over powered and need to be brought down for pure DPS reasons. Even if that was the case I doubt Blizzard would do so by nerfing Starsurge. Moonfury is a much better tool to raise or lower DPS if that type of action is needed.
The reason, Starsurge is getting nerfed probably has more to do with the spell itself rather then the overall DPS output of Moonkin. The fact of the matter is, Starsurge can unload a lot of DPS in a very short period of time with a little good luck from Shooting Stars. Chances are Starsurge is being nerfed for PvP reasons rather then PvE reasons. With that, there is a little hope. The patch is still in the early stages, and there is plenty of time for Blizzard to buff us in other areas to make up for the nerf.
World of Logs Data: