So, Lissanna asks us a question. “If you could change one talent in any of the druid talent trees, what would it be?" Here is my response.
Before I look at the talents I want to give you a little perspective on how I view this question. First off, I am only looking at the talents and only considering their quality as talents. I am not considering Moonkin performance as a whole. For example, I would say something like "Moonfury is a bad talent because it doesn't buff our DPS enough." I will not say "Moonkin DPS needs to be buffed therefore Moonfury should give 20%." I hope you see the difference. The first quote is a comment on the individual talent. The second is a comment on the build as a whole. (For the record Moonfury is a great talent.)
Second, when Blizzard builds the talent trees, I think their design should agree with three rules:
- Every talent should be useful to someone, but all the talents don't have to be useful to everyone. I am completely fine with some talents being only useful for PvP or to resto druids. As long as informed players see it has some type of value then I am OK with the talent being on my tree.
- Tier advancement should be easy in everyone's main talent tree. Meaning, a balance druid should be able to advance to the top of the balance tree without using talent point on talents seen as useless for their chosen play style. The old TBC Balance tree is the best example of this rule being violated. In the first three tiers you could only spend 13 points in a useful manner for a raiding moonkin. Therefore you had to waste two points on Nature's Grasp, Control of Nature, or Brambles.
- If you’re going to put key talents outside of the main talent tree then there should be a clear path for picking them up. Once again, TBC is a good example of this issue. Tier 3 of the Resto tree had Subtlety and Intensity. These were two key talents for a raiding moonkin. Yet, tier 2 of the Resto tree had no valuable talents for a balance druid.
If you understand my perspective, you understand why I won't be including some very unpopular talents in my comments. Genesis, for example, is a horrible talent for moonkin, but it is a great talent for resto. Since there is a good alternative to advance up the balance tree I have no problem with Genesis, but there are some situations in the talent trees that violate my rules.
Improved Moonfire: This is my biggest issue with the Druid talent trees. Imp Moonfire was once a good talent but was completely destroyed by the introduction of Glyph of Moonfire. The glyph is a solid one two punch. Since the direct damage portion of the talent reduced by 90% the bonus crit chance has very little impact. On the other side, the 10% increase in damage gets lost in the 75% increase to periodic damage provided by the glyph. The result is a talent that only increases damage by 0.25-0.5% per talent point.
Improved Moonfire has seen a bit of a revival lately with the introduction of Criting DoTs with the 2T9 set bonus, but that will last only for the current gear tier. However, it does give a good indication of how the talent could be fixed. If it allowed your moonfire DoT to crit it would become a viable talent again.
Resto Tier 2: The early resto talents are much better for moonkin then they used to be, but I still don't like the second tier. Tier 3 of the of the Resto tree has Intensity, Omen of Clarity, and Master Shapeshifter. All of them are very good talents for moonkin. Tier 2 of the Resto tree has Naturalist, Subtlety, and Natural Shapeshifter. Naturalist is only good for feral druids. Subtlety has some use for PvP moonkin, but I don't know if it is important. Natural Shapeshifter saves you some mana, but ideally you shouldn't be shifting. On top of that Natual Shapeshifter is a prereq for putting points in Master Shapeshifter.
Blizzard has talked about making shifting a bigger part of how you play a druid, which could make Natural Shapeshifter more important. However, I would correct the problem by removing Natural Shapeshifter as a prereq for Master Shapeshifter. Tier 1 of the Resto Tree is surprisingly good for moonkin. The extra 10% Int from Furor is very nice. Imp MotW is nice both in terms of the better buff and the 2% additional stats. On top of that Nature's Focus is now a really good talent to avoid pushback on Wrath. I would happily take the three points I have invested in Tier 2 of the Resto tree and put them in Tier 1, but I can’t due to the prereq on Master Shapeshifter.
Off Topic Comments:
I wanted to make a couple of other comments that aren't related to the subject of the post.
- Haste Valuation: I'm starting to doubt my haste valuation. I think haste rating is better than I'm giving it credit for. The numbers produced by Simcraft rate Crit rating and Haste rating at a very similar level. I need to take a look at my model, but you may not want to avoid Haste as much as I've indicated in the past.
- New Blog: Randomsmo has started a new blog. If you don't know Randomsmo, he is a moonkin that has regularly posted on the official forums and Moonkin Repository. He raids at a fairly high level, and is usually a pretty good source of information. He currently only has 3 posts up but I thought they were fairly interesting. If you would like to check his blog out you can find it here.