Have you ever been dpsing a boss and thought to yourself, "I wish my last Starfire cast during Lunar Eclipse could proc Solar Eclipse?" This may sound a little cheesy but I actually have.
We've all been on those long runs where we cast a spell for what seems like 1000 tries and Eclipse never procs. During those tries I often wish I had the 90% crit chance that Lunar Eclipse provides.
Well, my wish has come true with this helpful little addon called WiseEclipse. It was created by Kurohoshi (EU-Minahonda), and based on the macros by Hamlet (US-Mal'Ganis). You can download it from WoWInterface here.
Why You Want It:
This addon increases your Eclipse uptime by allowing your last buffed spell cast to proc Eclipse. Obviously this is really nice when transitioning from Lunar Eclipse to Solar Eclipse because you will have a 75% - 90% chance to proc Solar Eclipse. You may be amazed that this is even possible, but it is. I tried it out on a target dummy and tested it in raid last night. It worked as I expected in both situations.
What the Addon does is compare the time remaining on your Eclipse buff to the cast time of your next spell. If your cast time is longer then the Eclipse buff the addon will cancel your Eclipse buff to allow the opposite Eclipse to proc.
I don't understand all of the technical details to fully explain why this addon works, but I will do my best. The addon works because of Lag. As you play the game some things are done on your computer (the client), and other things are done on the server. If I understand the process correctly the server determines your damage and if the spell crits, but the client determines cooldowns and if the buff can proc or not.
For example lets say you cast Starfire with Lunar Eclipse. When it hits you only 1.5 seconds left on your Lunar Eclipse, and your cast time is 2.4 seconds. Obviously your not going to be able to get another buffed Starfire off. So, WiseEclipse cancels the Lunar Eclipse right as the spell hits. At the same time the server calculates the damage of this spell and is likely a crit due to your 75%-90% crit chance. So, the server sends a message back to the client saying that the Starfire cast was a crit. Because of Lag the client has already cancelled the Lunar Eclipse when it receives this message. Since Solar is not on cooldown and Lunar Eclipse is not up the conditions are met for the critical hit to proc Solar Eclipse, thus giving you back to back Eclipse procs with very high frequency.
The addon has some other functionality as well, like allowing you to automatically cancel Solar Eclipse during Bloodlust/Heroism if the shaman buff has more then 15 seconds and Lunar Eclipse is not on cooldown. I think it is also possible for the last cast of your Solar Eclipse to proc Lunar Eclipse, but it is unlikely due to the way the buffs work.
The Ethics of this Addon:
I think it is safe to say that this addon drops in to a grey area (no pun intended). In my opinion it is not an exploit that severely compromises the integrity of the game, like the old Void Reaver/Mindcontrol trick or the Sarth Reflective Shield trick. However, it is obviously outside the intended design of the talent.
In my opinion it falls into the "Creative Use of Game Mechanics" category. Hamlet compares the functionality and design to the Shatter Combos Frost Mages use, which are fine according to some Blizzard quotes. While I see the similarities I think WiseEclipse is more like the old Idol Swapping macros, where you could get the [Idol of the Unseen Moon] buff as well as increased spell damage from the [Ivory Idol of the Moongoddess]. In that situation you could macro the Moonfire spell and Idol together so that the Idol was equipped right after the spell was cast so that the two GCD's over lapped, but due to lag the the MF cast could proc the Idol even though the idol was equipped after the cast.
In patch 2.4.3, Blizzard killed the Moonkin Idol swapping macros by making it so that swapping a weapon/idol would cancel you current cast. Blizzards explanation wasn't directly targeted at Idols, saying the change was made to prevent PvP casters from swapping high haste and high spell power weapons in and out so that they could get the benefits of the haste and the spell power. However, Blizzard is taking it a step further in 3.2.2. In the up coming patch, unequiping an idol will cancel the buff it provides. This is being done to prevent Feral tanks from having multiple Idol buffs up at the same time.
So, I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard did something that eliminated the utility of this addon. Cancelling the Eclipse buffs in time probably impossible to do by hand and requires the use of an addon or macro. Since, Blizzard doesn't want any macro or addon to be a mandatory part of the game, it is unlikely that Blizzard will look on this addon favorable. However, even though Blizzard probably won't like the addon, that doesn't mean that they have the time or ability to prevent its functionality. Lets face it, Blizzard has a lot of stuff on its plate, and preventing this functionality might not be quick and easy. So, I could also see Blizzard ignoring the issue for quite a while because the impact is small enough, and the solution is complicated.
What I'm trying to say is that I think this addon is safe to use, but don't get extremely attached to it. I would be very surprised if anyone got banned for using it, since it is very similar to other practices already in game. However, if Blizzard can break it, they probably will eventually.
The "Too Public" Issue:
There have been a couple of comments posted around the web saying that users are worried that this addon will become "too public." The basic theory is that if we can limit the usage of WiseEclipse by the community then Blizzard won't take steps to prevent its functionality. I understand the concern, but it is already to late in my opinion.
First off all, while it is possible that by publishing this post, I am bringing the addon to Blizzards attention, I find it highly unlike. Blizzard has confirmed that they read the EJ forums where this addon first came up. So they probably already know about it.
Second, I realize that by not posting this article I would probably slow its growth and may delay any fix that may or may not come. However, this information is already available from several other sources. I doubt my silence would have much affect.