Thursday, June 18, 2009

Patch Notes: 3.2 - The End of Lunar vs Solar

We all knew that 3.2 is right around the corner. The amount of info coming out of Blizzard lately made that obvious, and I expected that the patch notes would be available soon. To be honest though, I wasn't that excited. Yes, I am interested in the new raid, but I'm so focused on Ulduar right now that its not a pressing concern. On top of that I had no expectation that Moonkins PvE would be changed. So I'm a little shocked buy some of the patch notes that came out today. Lets take a look.

The Starfire and Wrath buffs from this talent are now on separate 30 second. cooldowns. In addition, it is not possible to have both buffs active simultaneously.

Bye bye Lunar vs Solar debates.

With one change Blizzard has effectively ended the biggest debate within the Moonkin community in a way that I don't think anyone expected. In one fell swoop Blizzard has addressed several of their own stated concerns with the balance spec, if not the players concerns. I'm still digesting this info, but here is my first impression of the impact.

  1. First and foremost it obviously changes our rotation. Instead of focusing on one spell we will now use a twisting rotation to maximize Eclipse uptime. There are probably some more complicated strategy impacts as well, like trying to time one buff to happen instead of another, but I can't see those right now.
  2. Ghostcrawler said that they thought Balance DPS was a little low, and I don't think that the buff Improved Moonkin Aura has as big of an impact as he wanted. This will increase Eclipse's up time and therefore moonkin DPS.
  3. This will balance out spell usage much more. Back on 5/9/09, GC said "An ideal rotation, if we can make it work, would be more like SF x 3-6 then Wrath x 3-6, with Insect Swarm, Moonfire and the rest thrown in as needed." There are several ways you could interpret this but I think one of the things they are looking for is a more balanced use of spells. Currently, most moonkin have a primary nuke that they use 50% - 60% of the time. Then they have a secondary nuke that they use 20% - 30% of the time, with the other 20% made up of DoTs and long cooldown abilities. This change should make those nuke numbers become more equal.
  4. Ghostcrawler also said that he doesn't like that Eclipse has "driven many druids to mods to help manage it." This change will effectively eliminate the need for addons like Squawk and Awe. I'm not saying that Addons won't still be useful, but addons are currently required to manage the cooldown. Now that we will be twisting the buff, we won't have to worry as much about when the cooldown expires. You just keep casting and wait for the other eclipse to proc.
As you can probably tell I am pretty impressed with this change. I don't necessarily agree with all of GC's concerns but I'm fairly impressed with how well this one change addresses so many of them. I do think this change will be a net positive for raiding moonkin but that does not mean I don't have concerns.

  1. Eclipse will still be completely uncontrollable. Losing a proc to a silence or some other game mechanic won't be as costly as it currently is, but we still don't have any way to DPS without risking an Eclipse proc. Basically Eclipse hasn't changed, just the way we use it.
  2. This is an indirect nerf to the current moonkin Idols. The problem with a vast majority of the idols is that they impact the performance of only one spell. That is ok when a majority of your rotation is centered around one spell, but now SF and Wrath will be equal partners. Which one do you choose? I'm not even sure that the IS idol won't be best in this situation.

    Hopefully Blizzard will introduce a new cool idol like [Idol of the Unseen Moon] or [Idol of the Raven Goddess] that will make this a moot point.
Balance of Power:
Now reduces all spell damage taken by 3/6%, rather than reducing the chance to be hit by spells by 2/4%

This feels like more of a PvP change even though I know nothing about PvP, but will have some implications in PvE. It will make survivability less streaky. I don't know if it is an improvement or not. We will be hit by spells more often, but each hit will do less damage. I'm viewing it as a positive because it will give me more time to react when I am hit.

Owlkin Frenzy:
Now also restores 2% base mana every 2 seconds for the duration (10 seconds) in addition to its current effects.

This has to be PvP change. Who knows what our mana will look like after 3.2, but my I doubt the nerf to Replenishment will hurt us that bad. I just don't see many raiding moonkins picking up OF any time soon. From a PvP perspective I have no clue. It has to be a plus, but I don't know what kind of mana issues Moonkin are having in Arena right now.

Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.

Good change. It makes it more useful in both PvE and PvP.

Other Interesting Changes:
Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric Touch, Judgements of the Wise, Hunting Party, Enduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).

I'm not sure how this will impact Moonkin. Most of us aren't having any mana issues, but that could change.
  • Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
  • The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
WARNING: Look out for tons of Casual vs Hardcore QQ on the WoW forums. Personally, I don't care, but you know its coming.
Ominous Clouds in the Yogg-Saron encounter are now more vocal about touching players.
If you listen really closely you will hear raid leaders around the world cheering. I have to say one of the most frustrating things about learning Yogg was not knowing who spawned the additional adds. Believe it or not I'm not saying this just because it would give us some one to yell at. If you don't know that your the one that screwed up, then you can't fix the problem.

There are a bunch of other little changes that you might find interesting. You can find the full patch notes here. If you have a couple minutes let me know what you think of these notes in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Woooo! Finally a substantial Moonkin dps buff!

Icedragon said...

"WARNING: Look out for tons of Casual vs Hardcore QQ on the WoW forums. Personally, I don't care, but you know its coming."

I kind of already hit on that in my last blog post. It's cool for alts, but those hours and hours of dying on Kologarn are going to go in the toilet. /sigh

Nice post as always, Graylo <3

Anonymous said...

Nice post! I'm curious how the eclipse change will effect gear selection. Currently we are prioritizing crit over haste for solar sets and haste over crit for lunar. Any predictions on how that will change?

Anonymous said...

Great post. I'm trying to interpret the balance of power change correctly; can I assume that the chance TO hit will remain unchanged, and all that is changing is the chance TO BE hit?

Anonymous said...

This is going to be very interesting to math out. I've already gotten started but haven't gotten around to anything final. My concern is the idols. It looks like we'll be favoring the starfire idol.

Owlkin change is a pvp buff to semi-compensate for the innervate change.


Anonymous said...

A few things to add here:

#1: We get essentially locked into 400 haste as our soft cap with this new Eclipse.

#2: The change to hit on Balance of Power is not changing.

#3: The value of crit just increased even more.


Anonymous said...

That's what I was guessing too Wisp. That basically it would force us to lock in at 400 haste, and then push for crit over haste.

~Privious Anonymous Gear prediction question girl

David said...

just off the top of my head with current gear itemization you aren't getting a lot of haste to begin with. crit is definatly more prefered now just to keep good procs up. i'm thinking that starting out with a lunar rotation to get those crits needed for solar rotation off your starfires. that last one you cast has a good chance to crit thus proccing solar eclipse. just a theory. will have to test them all out.

rinku said...

Im a guildmaster/raidleader of average guild that has only the couple hardest hardmodes left on 25man. I was already planning on writing a QQ post (on eu forums though so no-one would have read it anyways) about moonkins not being worth their raidspot with our dps being clearly one of the lowest around dropping even further when we gear up. and then this great eclipse change came out.

my first thought was that this should pretty significantly increase our DPS as eclipse is the only time we actually do competitive dps.

I also heavily disagree with your owlkin frenzy comment.. its already a must have talent for fights like firefighter.. that new change should help a lot with keeping mana up in those long and heavily mana draining fights. (firefighter, yogg, thorim, freya)

im eagerly waiting for calculations on things like "dots up all the time or not, haste or crit.. haste cap 400?"

Ryuujin said...

I'm also pretty interested in how this Eclipse change will affect our gearing. To me it sounds like it'll make our haste cap at 400 like an above posted said and crit will go up a bit after haste is capped. Though with BiS gear I think haste ends up at 400 which makes it perfect.

Whalen Rozelle said...

First off, amazing buff for Moonkin and I'm quite excited by the change.

Now, to the real "QQ" - content stretching. I'm more or less flabbergasted about how obvious an emergency patch this is.

Let's review, shall we:
1. Multiple 25-man and 10-man lockouts. You can theoretically kill a boss 4 times in a week. This is flat-out stupid unless the heroic versions will be different bosses altogether. Call me a skeptic but I doubt this will ever happen.

2. Useful rewards tied to the Tournament rep grind. More or less 100% agreed with you in your previous post on this.

3. Emblem system. I'll not even go into the pain I feel at imagining my 25-hard decked out character toiling in heroic 5-mans for min-max'ing badges...

Poor show Blizzard, poor. I thought WotLK was an epic failure until Ulduar, and then things were looking up. Now I'm not so sure.

Anonymous said...

Nice post Graylo. First thing that comes to mind with the change to eclipse is the power of T8 2pc bonus. Will we be facing Arthas with this bonus? How will T9 top this or will we see it nerfed?

- Voodooray

Anonymous said...

just a quick message to say Im a new reader of your blog and love it. as a new moonkin im eager to check the blog each day to learn the craft :) Keep it up

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I wanted to I just wanted to say I that love your moonkin videos, Voodooray!

Tradik said...

The thing I'm worried about with the new eclipse is that, while it's a massive buff, I think it's a poorly conceived one.

Haste is good for lunar phases, crit for solar, spellpower is good for both. My fear is that we're going to only get a minimum of each of those, and have spellpower worth just ridiculously much more then either stat. To the point where high spirit healer regen pieces become our Best-in-Slots just because they give 10~ extra SP.

And, as others have said, the idol thing. I think I'm with wisprunner on this one, the SF one will be slightly better, but by how much? I don't think idol-swapping mid-combat will ever be a dps gain anymore, but it might come to that. However, I think now would be a time to reevaluate the strength of the Insect Swarm idol. As it's the one spell we'd be using 100% of the time in this new rotation.

Kheldar said...

some good changes :)

and i like the change to Emblems.

grisan said...

Right now, I don't really like these eclipse changes.

The changes will help with some minor problems, but the main problems are still there. Eclipse is still pretty uncontrollable and too much RNG based and in movement-heavy fights we still can't use eclipse to the full potential.

Balancing the use of both spells will bring new problems. It makes haste less useful, and it decreases the value of idols and glyphs.
Also casting wrath really sucks. I HATE casting wrath. I can't think of anything more annoying than pressing the same button every 1 - 1.2 seconds, but more importantly chaincasting wrath on a laggy server (like the one I play on) will cause some loss in DPS

Raysa said...

oh this patch gonne be great! :D

i like the eclipse change but i am not realy sure about it being overpowered. we will see...

i think the new IS idol will be the best. i didnt do the math, but i think i read something about the dps-difference between the SF idol and the IS idol. it wasnt that big. if u take in consideration that SF is 60% of our casttime now and will be about 40% in future, the IS idol should be best.
i have always both dots up and think this will be even better with the new eclipse change and the IS idol.
my clue in 100% uptime of the dots, is their bonus to our casts. that shouldnt be lost in a careful consideration.

those other changes are most viable in pvp i think, ofcourse there are some points where OF can be usefull in pve, but most of the time its not.

only one point in those patch notes is strange to me. innervate!
i'm playing as a resto in arenas and i am intelligent enough to protect my innervate with barkskin, but innervate was longer then barkskin, so enemies had the chance to steal it after those 10secs of barkskin. now, it can be always protected, so its getting even more powerful.
of course, since i am the druid, i wont cry about that, but from an objectiv view its another buff to restos in arena.

so long, Raysa - EU Zuluhed

Raysa said...


if u are not that kind of player that is aggressively permanently hitting ur buttons you shouldn worry about just ignoring that solar proc............

Anonymous said...

Too good to be true...
My first reaction was :wow , nice buff!
but when you start thinking about how much dps moonkin would gain, it becomes clear that the buffs provided by eclipse talent and / or 2 t8 will be nerfed

Znheb said...

Well, the eclipse change is welcome. From my rough math (pen and paper FTW) I see a DPS increase of 8-10%: a nice buff. Gearing wise I think we can balance our stats without pushing too much haste rating because now Wrath is half our DPS and crit rating can be a better choice. Can't wait to try the new rotation.

Thorn said...

Still stuck with the RNG issues and not enough variety of offensive spells. I seriously wonder if there's any other dps spec in the game that doesn't get another trainable offensive abilty after 40 (and no cyclone doesn't count it's a CC)

Been raiding as a Balance druid since MC and I'd really like something new in my dps arsenal that doesn't involve talent points

Aarondf said...

A nice bonus unmentioned so far is the Innervate glyph potentially being doubled in effectiveness(if they don't catch on and nerf it). I give away my innervate every fight to healers as I already don't need it with a 58/13 spec.
That said, I'd consider an Innervate glyph as my guild moves into heroic hard mode progression so I can get 90% of my base mana every 3 minutes while still giving away my Innervate.
I already glyph out of IS to provide the 3% miss debuff as my dps can handle the loss(our two moonkin are top 5 on the charts every raid @ ~6-6.5k).
Also, if the glyph remains unchanged, the target of the Innervate will get a 10 second buff while I'd retain the 20 second timer for my regen.

Graylo said...

@Anon2 - "I'm curious how the eclipse change will effect gear selection."

In theoretical terms its definately going to change how we value haste and Crit relative to each other, but Im practical terms I think it will have little impact. If you looked at the different BiS lists people were making for Lunar and Solar rotations they were all very similar. The reality is there just isn't a ton of options when it comes to how we gear and the best options are generally clear.

I expect that our gearing will change very little in the short run.


I see no indication that the "To Hit" part has changed.


Idols: I agree that the SF idol will probably come out ahead in most situations assuming that blizzard doesn't give us an awesome new one (which they should). However, I wouldn't be surprised if the IS idol became better in at least some situations. My old math showed that as long as you casted 3 or more SFs in 14 seconds then the SF idol would be better. Now that we will be twisting spells we will be casting fewer SFs making and making Idol of the Crying moon more attractive, especially for fights where you can dot multiple targets like Mimiron.

#1: I don't think this will have as big of an impact on the soft cap as you and others imply. Haste is definately being nerfed for people who used a Lunar rotation but it is being buffed for people using a solar rotation. I don't know if Crit or Haste will be better at this moment, but I think there will be a place for both in our gear even after 400 haste. I think its going to be a simmilar situation we saw in TBC when people tryied to avoid Crit completely. One of them is going to be the inferior stat, but as long as you get enough of it, it may be better then the other options.

#3: I think this will affect Crit in a similar way as it affects Haste, but the opposite. This will be a nerf to crit for people currently using a Solar rotation, but a buff for people using a Lunar roation.


I agree that being able to kill the same boss 4 times a week seems a little strange, and may cause encounter fatgue. However In a way I kind of like it. It forces a progression path that is absent in Ulduar. I don't like that we can currenlty skip early hard modes to get to the later ones. I think we should have to kill FL+4 before we can attempt Heartbreaker or any of the other hard modes. I also like that you could do a quick clear of the easy mode on your first raid night to get the gear and focus on the harder stuff later.


That is a good point. Not only does this buff Eclipse but it buffs 2T8. I have seen some speculation that it may have to be nerfed.

Also, you may have me confused with Foofy. I haven't made any Moonkin videos.


Affiction Warlocks were in that exact position in early TBC. Spell Power was great, and evey other stat was worth only a 3rd of it. I don't think we will be at that extreme but who knows. We will have to see.

Anonymous said...

Great Post!

As a little side note did anyone else catch the updates to pets? While I normally wouldnt worry about pets it seems that they make mention of pets receiving portions of our stats including spell power and maybe even our hit rating. Not a huge deal but a small buff to Treants for moonkins maybe? I like it :)

~Gingryu : Ursin

Anonymous said...

Graylo, first off I want to say the your blog has been a godsend at times. I check it daily.

The other "Moonkin" place I often check is Voodooray's youtube page. The comment about moonkin videos wasn't about videos that you've made, but was a comment that I made in surprise at seeing the two moonkins I admire the most (you for the work you do here at Gray Matter and Voodooray for the entertianing moonkin videos he puts out from time to time) at the same place.

Check his Youtube page. I know you'll and everyother moonkin will get a kick out of it.

Tsunami said...

I'd just like to remind people that dotting up multiple mobs with IS is not as attractive as it may sound - Unless you have an unholy DK putting up the 13% Magic damage across your targets.

Its still really nice for the T8 4 set though, I would like some of your thoughts on this - I know its a little off topic though :/

Hamlet said...

If you're checking EJ, you'll keep seeing my comments on 3.2--I should have a new spreadsheet up soon. Briefly, I'm seeing:

--About a 6% DPS increase.
--SF and W Idols are roughly equal, with SF being a bit better. Twisting is unlikely to be effective.
--Haste and Crit roughly equal, somewhat behind spellpower.

Graylo said...


Trents have scaled with the Spell Power of the caster for a while now. However, It would be nice for them to get some of our hit rating and things like that also. Who knows if it will actually work that way though.


I hadn't seen Voodooray's videos before. Thanks for pointing them out. They're pretty cool.


I don't think anyone should go to far out of their way to dot up multiple targets. However, when combined with 4T8 and convenent targets, ISing multiple targets may be good if you can do it easily, like phase four of Mimiron for example.


I have been checking EJ a little bit.

My preliminary model is valuing the change at 10.7%, but I know that is high. It assumes a perfect rotation with no lag and some other unrealistic things. I haven't looked at the simcraft numbers lately but I was thinking the 8% they predicted sounded about right.

I thought he idol twisting idea was interesting but I agree that it is unlikely to be effective. The gain is probably pretty small for the added complication. I'm still hoping that Blizz will introduce a new idol a that has an impact on all spells. With the changes to Emblems I think it is possible.

My preliminary numbers have Crit ahead by a little bit, but that is starting above 400 haste

Anonymous said...

So. what the rotation would look like now. i still dont get what the hell are you guys all exicted about. Will it be MF,IS, Wrath till Eclipse then SF and then proc Wrath Eclipse when the other 15 secs are up???

As for the Idol prob i think if they buff up the timer on the old Idol of the unseen moon ( or whatever its called )it should be fine and benefit all our spells

Anonymous said...

I just wander... how they will nerf us :-/

I'm a bit afraid that we might become OP with "double" eclipse time, so they might have to nerf us.

I will not be surprised if the values of buff given by Eclipse will become smaller.

So we will end up the same as we are now, just without so nice looking 15-20k crits so often :(

Pike said...

Hmmm thanks for the headsup. My lil' resto druid (who for some reason has been in nothing but moonkin form lately... where did all these extra healers come from...?) will be sure to take this info to heart. <3

Veggeh - Auchindoun said...

Nice post! Fills me in with what I could expect to face if I'm still able to play on 3.2 launch. A thought though:

- Looking at MMO-Champ and their new 3.2 talent calculator, they have Balance of Power still giving us chance to hit as well as the damage reduction. However, the chance to hit values have changed from 2/4% to 3/6%.

If this is correct (and remains correct), this drops the needed hit % from gear from 10% to 8%. I can't find the formula to say how much less hit rating we'd need to gather but I imagine it will be less than 200, which is essentially covered on the high-end T9 sets from 2 items and allowing us more slots to stack more crit on and increasing dps further...or have I gone wrong somewhere, which is quite possible.

Anonymous said...

FYI: There appears to be a bug on the PTR right now in that Lunar and Solar Eclipse are NOT on separate 30 second cooldowns. The implication of this great change is that Solar Eclipse should be able to trigger within the 15 seconds after the Lunar Eclipse buff has expired. This is absolutely not the case in the current build.