* Innervate now Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 450% of the casting Druid's base mana pool over 20 sec sec.This change to Innervate isn't all that unexpected given some of the things Ghostcrawler has been saying on the forums recently. From a PvE perspective it is about neutral for moonkin, and makes innervate better for Pallys and Shaman. For PvP, it is a good change given the complete lack of Spirit on PvP gear.
* Glyph of Innervate - Innervate now grants the caster 90% of
base mana pool over 20 sec sec in addition to the normal effects of Innervate. (Old - Innervate now grants the caster full mana regeneration while casting for 20 sec, in addition to the effect on the target. If the caster targets self, the mana regeneration effect of your Innervate is increased by 20%.)
As a side effect, this change has prompted a quite a bit of discussion on the value of spirit for druids, and Ghostcrawler has decided to chime in with a couple of comments.First he said this:
Spirit isn't an attractive enough stat for Balance druids. That's a problem, but Innervate is not a great solution to that problem. As I said in a previous post, it's more like int and crit become great regen stats for Balance, which then leaves spirit to become a damage stat... which you have to admit is a little weird. (That said, we may still boost it for Balance in the near term.) (source)
Then he followed it up with this.
We aren't taking Spirit off of gear. It's a stat in the game and we need to use it. "Sub-optimal" is not the same as "worthless." Spirit on plate is worthless.
We did improve the set bonus by quite a bit, and we are considering increasing the amount of spellpower provided by Improved Moonkin Form.
Long term we would still like to evaluate whether we're happy with there being so much crossover of Int becoming a mana regen stat and Spirit becoming a dps stat.
Finally he said this:
Making Improved Moonkin Form grant 30% Spirit to spellpower instead of 15% is the kind of thing that would make Spirit a more attractive stat.
First off, I assume that when he says "We did improve the set bonus by quite a bit" he is referring to the increase in the 4T8 proc rate to 15% instead of 5%. This is being reported in the EJ forums. Hopefully we will be able to provide a value for it soon.
The more significant part about the comment is that how he talks about buffing Spirit. I do agree that something needs to be done to buff Spirit for Moonkin. Its ridiculous that Warlocks benefit from it more then we do. That just doesn't make sense from a game design stand point or a lore stand point in my opinion.
However, I think it is a bit like putting a band aid on a stab wound. The problem isn't that Spirit is a "Sub-optimal" stat. The problem is how blizzard is choosing to design gear.
I think the old method worked fairly well. If you look at the cloth and leather caster raid gear before 3.1 a majority of it followed a pretty standard path. The stats could be divided into two groups: Fixed stats and Variable stats.
The Fixed stats were Stam, Int, and Spell Power, and they were on 99% of the cloth and leather gearing options. The Variable stats were Hit, Haste, Crit, and Spirit, and most gear choice had two of thes four stats. Items with spirit obviously lent themselves to healers more then DPS, and the items without spirit were considered to be DPS items.
With the release of patch 3.1 Blizzard seems to have changed its philosophy. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but they've done it in the worst way possible.
A vast majority of the cloth and leather caster gear in Ulduar has spirit, and Blizzard seems to be interested in making it a Fixed stat. Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing but they haven't committed to the switch and it has reeked havoc on gearing/looting decisions for caster DPS.
Of the choices without Spirit, most of them have Hit rating. This is fine to me because hit rating is awesome but very limited because of the cap. The problem is with the 2 or 3 awesome items that have Stam, Int, Spell Power, Crit and Haste. Every Moonkin, Warlock, Mage, and Shadow Priest in the game will want these options, and an item designed like this is clearly better then items of a higher item level not designed this way.
If you want Spirit to be a Fixed stat for caster DPS then you can't create items like [Robes of the Umbral Brute], because it is so clearly superior to anything with Spirit.
Secondly, there is always going to be a problem with secondary item slots like Necks, Rings, Backs, and Weapons, since Spirit is a horrible stat for Paladins and Shaman. Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't have a good way to say that a neck is meant for a Holy Pally instead of a Moonkin, but an item that is designed perfectly for the Holy Pally will also be very good for a moonkin, and likely better then an option with Spirit on it.
Finally, Blizzard has to itemize the tier sets more fairly. If you look at the T8 Moonkin sets, 4 out of 5 slots have Spirit. It sucks, but I could understand it if other casters were designed similarly. However, if you look at the Mage set, Warlock set, and Shadow Priest set, you will see that all of them have only 3 out of 5 pieces with Spirit. What sense does that make?
Mages and Shadow Priests have their own issues with Spirit, but it is arguable that Warlocks benefit more form Spirit then Moonkin do. So why are Moonkin being singled out and forced to have more of a "sub-optimal" stat then other caster DPS are not? It isn't fair.
So in conclusion, while I would love to see spirit made more valuable for moonkin given the current state of Ulduar gear, but Spirit is not the problem. The haphazard way in which Blizzard itemizes the gear is the problem.
Personally, I think Blizzard should go back to the old method and allow Spirit to be "sub-optimal" but optional stat. However, if you choose to continue putting Spirit on almost all cloth and leather caster gear then commit to it completely.