Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ghostcrawler Addresses Moonkin Bloat

We've got some good news out of the WotLK Beta forums this morning. The core comment here is that they currently plan on addressing our bloat (though it could change), but GC goes on to talk about some other aspects of our spec that you might find interesting. You can find the post here, but I will discuss it in sections.

Moonfury and Earth and Moon down to 3 ranks from 5, but keeping the same overall benefit. That buys you 4 extra talent points to get more utility or fun talents.
This is a good change. I didn't expect them to change Earth and Moon since it is a tier 9 talent but I don't care where the points are shaved from as long as I get them.
As an epilogue, here are our feelings on bloat. The problem with the Balance tree was that druids had to spend nearly all their points just on pure damage. It's hard to justify giving up damage for utility, PvP or fun talents in a raid scenario. Ideally you should be trading those talents off against each other ,not against your damage (or healing or mitigation).

Bloat (in our dictionary) does not mean there are more talents you want than you can afford. That's a *good* thing. If there were a bunch of talents you'd never ever get, now *that* would be a problem. As a contrast, we don't think Feral is bloated -- or rather in this case we bloated it on purpose so that you couldn't be the best cat in the world and the best bear in the world with the same spec.
For the most part I agree with this comment. I fully support having different talents in a tree that support different play styles, like the Bear vs Cat example. A broader example would be having different talents that support a more PvP style, PvE raiding style, or a PvE solo style. The problem with the balance tree is that there are so many talents to that don't lend themselves to a particular style of play other then PvE raiding.

If I had to choose a new spec right now for level 80, this spec would probably be it. I'm happy that I'm able to pick up Force of Nature, Gale Winds and a point of Dreamstate, but lets look at the talents I have to give up.

For Brambles, Owlkin Frenzy, and Typhoon it is becoming clear to me that these talents are entirely meant for PvP. All three have uses in PvE, but they are situational and their PvP benefits are much more substantial then their PvE benefits. Therefore, I can handle giving up these three talents.

From a PvE perspective thise are the talents I have to give up. Genesis, Dreamstate (2pts), Imp Faerie Fire, and Eclipse.

I think I can do without Dreamstate. Many people from the PTR and Beta are saying that they are having very few problems with mana. I only put one point here because I could think of a better place for it.

It is a little hard to pass up Genesis because it is a damage increase, but unfortunately a minor one. Never the less, it is a talent that is guaranteed to increase our damage that we have to pass on.

Imp Faerie Fire is a good talent on a bad spell. What I mean by that is that it provides some nice buffs, but they are applied in a way that makes them worthless. If they ever increase the duration of Faerie Fire then this will be a must have talent, and I will be forced to drop Gale Winds and Dreamstate (1pt).

Eclipse is obviously intended to be a PvE talent, but currently doesn't provide and significant buffs to the way Moonkin will be played in a PvE situation. However, GC has mentioned more buffs, but more on this later.

To sum all this up, I am very pleased that they are planning to drop 4 talent points out of the tree, but I think it should be a little more. As it is we are still forced to exclude several decent talents that provide little or no benefit to a play style other then PvE raiding.

We are also going to buff Eclipse's damage a little so that you feel you're paid back for the extra proc-watching (and so I won't feel so lonely when I tell you I think it's fun).
I recently did some math on Eclipse, and my findings agreed with everyone else's. Eclipse is currently useless. There was no benefit to switching to Wrath from Starfire if you get the proc, and there is no benefit to precasting Wrath for the Starfire buff.

That being said it will be interesting to see what changes they make. They would have to buff it a lot to make us switch to Wrath from Starfire, but they don't have to do a whole lot to make a case for precasting Wrath for the Starfire buff. However, I feel that no change they could reasonably make would be enough. There just isn't enough points to go around as it is, and I don't think anyone wants to worry about a marginal talent, which Eclipse most likely will be.

Starfire Glyph:
We're going to leave the Starfire glyph as is for now, since one of the reasons we added it was to buy you back some brain time if you were watching Eclipse too much.
This is good to hear, but to be honest, I'm a little worried that it was even mentioned. The Starfire and Moonfire Glyphes are probably the best part about a moonkin build at the moment. If blizzard changes how these glyphs work and interact, don't be surprised to see an angry mob of feathers and horns show up on your doorstep. DO NOT TOUCH THIS GLYPH!!!!

Force of Nature:
The treant health is still something on the list to look at too. I suspect it just hasn't scaled well.

I am a little confused by this, because I don't have any experience with the beta. Are the trents relatively weaker at 80 then they currently are at 70, or are they considering making them stronger across the board to make them more useful? Either way the change is welcome.

Well that's it for now. Let me know what your reaction is to these changes.


Leslie said...

I don't understand why you say it's hard to pass on Genesis. 1% DPS gain for 5 talent points is so poor of a tradeoff that I always looked at it from a perspective of, "Wow, I'm glad that talent is so bad for me. 5 points I will almost never spend helps take the sting off of the bloat a bit."

Leslie said...

Also, consider dropping imp MF instead of gale winds if you ever have to pick up imp FF or they over buff eclipse to worth using. Raid buffed, MF is only 10% of my damage, and 1% dps for two points is less than you can gain or lose in the noise of day to day performance, especially if there's a respectable amount of AoE in WotLK. Gale winds will just be more fun.

Cdin said...

I realize that Genesis is a very minor increase to DPS and for that reason I am able to by pass it. However, it is a talent that is guarenteed to increase my DPS in almost all raid situations. In that light it kind of sucks to have to pass it up.

Imp MF is a little expendable also. Its another one that I would hate to give up, but if they ever make Eclipse, and Imp FF worth while, or if AoE is a huge part of WotLK DPS then I'm sure I will drop it also.

Thanks for Reading and Commenting.