Friday, October 3, 2008

Moonkin Updates: 10/3/2008

Nothing major has happened lately, but I have found some small updates that my readers may be interested in.

Nature's Grace:
If you may remember back in build 3.0.1.8634 that dropped on July 17 2008, we got this little change:
Nature's Grace: Now also reduces the global cooldown of your Wrath spell by 50% while in effect.
Apparently this change was ninja removed at some point. If you look at the talent trees provided by both Blizzard and WoWhead, it is no longer there, and I'm hearing reports from people in Beta and on the PTR that NG no longer affects the global cooldown.

This shifts the Starfire vs Wrath debate a little bit. I haven't changed my posts from a couple of weeks ago yet, but this shifts the debate in Starfire's vavor once again. It reduces Wrath's DPS advantage down to just 4% without the SF glyph. With the glyph Wrath is at a 11.7% disadvantage.

Nature's Splendor:
I didn't see any official word on this either but according to the talent trees Nature's Splendor extends Insect Swarm's duration by only 2 seconds now (down from 3). This makes a lot of sense, and it was probably a typo that NS extended IS by 3 seconds in the first place. IS currently ticks every 2 seconds, so that extra second was hard to estimate.

Ultimately this changes little. It does reduce my IS DP calculations a little, and it will make Wrath rotations a little more complicated since MF and IS will have different durations, but nether of these issues will cause significant changes in the way moonkin are played.

Starfall:
This spell will be non dispellable in an upcoming build. This should make a lot of the PvP moonkin happy but it may still be spell stealable. I don't know.

Bloat:
FSU Posted a long post on the Beta forums regarding Moonkin Bloat. He focuses primarily on PvP, but PvPers are feeling the same thing that PvE moonkin are. There are just to many necessary talents for the number of talent points we are given. Luckily he got a response.
For now, all I've got is that Starfall can't be dispelled does not equal GC basically said they're done with balance.
I know we have heard this before, and its starting to sound like a standard trade marked response like "soontm," but for some reason I'm optimistic. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but the need is so obviously clear to me that I don't see how they can miss it.

I compared the Balance tree to the other 8 caster DPS trees. The balance tree has 79 talent point options. The only tree that has more is the Arcane Mage tree with 81. The average of all 9 caster DPS trees is 74.56, which shows we have significantly more talents then the other caster specs. On top of that many of the other specs have clear distinction in choices. Several talents in there tree clearly provide little or no value in PvE.

Lets take Shadow Priests for example because I know them best. They have 4 talents that are clearly have little or no value in PvE situations.

Blackout - Only be useful on trash.
Imp Psychic Scream - Useless in raids because the need for fears is minimal.
Silence - Probably doesn't work on most bosses, and it requires two points in Imp PS to pick up.
Psychic Horror - A pure PvP ability that would have absolutely no use in Raids.

These four talents add up to 12 points that can be easily skipped from a shadow build. On top of that shadow priests start with only 70 talent options to begin with. This leaves them 13 points to spend how they want in other trees or to pick up some more situational talents.

Compare this to the Balance talents that are generally excluded by druids.

Genesis - Increases DPS but not by much compared to other talents.
Brambles - Increase the Damage of our Trents, Thorns, and Roots.
Imp Faerie Fire - Designed to be a PvE raid talent. It just sucks, unless you don't have an Spriest in raid.
Dreamstate - Provides mana regen.
Owlkin Frenzey - Probably the most Pure PvP talent we have, but could be useful in raids if WotLK raids have as much raid wide damage as SWP and BT do.
Eclipse - Another talent designed for PvE, that most people agree is useless since it doesn't provide a significant DPS increase.
Typhoon - An AoE spell that is primarily for PvP.
Force of Nature - An excellent source of mana efficient, treat free damage if used correctly. A standard part of most current moonkin builds.
Gale Winds - Increases AoE damage.

Of these 10 talents we are excluding, are there any you clearly don't want or need in a PvE build?

I can easily drop Typhoon because Hurricane should be enough AoE and the knock back on Typhoon could be bad in a raid. Other then that I can see a clear PvE reason to pick up all 9 other talents. The reasons aren't good enough drop some other talent, but there are significant uses for all 9 of the other talents in raids.

If I was a blizzard developer here are the changes I would love to see made. It's probably a little to much to ask for, but I can dream. (These are listed in the order of my priority.)

1. Reduce Vengeance to 2 or 3 points (currently 5 points) and move Nature's Reach to tier 4 of the tree.

2. Reduce Moonfury to 2 or 3 points (currently 5 points).

3. Reduce Lunar Guidance to 2 points (currently 3 points).

4. Reduce Dreamstate to 2 points (currently 3 points).

What do you think? What changes would you like to see to improve Moonkin in WotLK?

1 comment:

Tilion said...

Excellent post. There have been a lot of threads about balance bloat, and I'm also cautiously optimistic that they'll help us out before release. I love my moonkin in pvp and I hate gimping dps for regen or pvp talents and vice versa.

I was unaware of the stealth revert for NG and the reduced global cooldown. How depressing! I loved the change as it meant Wrath spam in pvp was no longer halting and choppy. Any news on whether this will be put back in?