Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blue Post: Moonkins Buffed in Next Patch

Zarhym graced the Damage Dealing forums late yesterday and gave us this little nugget to be happy about.

Keep in mind that we tend to make much smaller adjustments during a minor patch cycle due to the limited amount of testing time we're allotted before applying such patches. For this reason you're not likely to see any major Balance druid changes coming in the next minor patch.

With that being said, one small change we have in the pipeline will double the passive effectiveness of Earth and Moon so that it provides a flat 2/4/6% spell damage increase, up from 1/2/3%. As an obligatory warning, this is subject to change prior to the next minor patch going

My Translation:

We are not going to fix the big issues with Nature's Grace and Eclipse in the next patch. However, we recognize that they are holding Moonkin DPS back and want to make a temporary fix now.

I think this is great news. It's no secret that moonkin have had a scaling issue Ulduar, and it is about to get much worse with the Lunar Crit Cap. If this change goes through it will not fix the underlying issues causing us to scale poorly, but hopefully it will offset the DPS we loose.

I am more happy about the way they are buffing us. I get a the impression that Blizzard doesn't like to straight x% Damage buffs. It seems to me that they would much rather adjust an ability or a proc to make it more valuable then to just increase our damage directly. I can understand that, but I think it is partly to blame for our current scaling issues. Lets take patch 3.3 for example. Before the patch was released Blizzard nerfed the 2T8 set bonus, broke the WiseEclipse addon, and told us that they would buff us to compensate for the lost DPS. At the time I guessed that they would buff us by doubling the passive bonus Earth and Moon provides, because it would be easy. My guess turned out to be wrong. Instead they buffed Eclipse again, and this caused the Lunar Crit Cap to be in reach. By buffing Earth and Moon, they are making a buff that is very easy to implement and evaluate. Plus, it won't cause us any additional problems.

So, what will be the impact of this change?

First off, let me make one thing clear. This is a change to the passive (aka moonkin only) portion of the buff. The raid wide 13% buff to spell damage is unchanged and will likely remain unchanged. Assuming that it goes through, this change will double the passive buff receive from Earth and Moon from 3% to 6%. Because Earth and Moon is a multiplicative increase it is actually very easy to calculate how this will impact our DPS. This will result in a buff of 2.91%. Its a little less then 3% because it is additive with the existing Earth and Moon damage modifier.

Buffs for Gold

Would you pay gold to get a temporary buff for your moonkin while playing? To be exact, would you pay 40 silver to buff your moonkin by 15% for 6 seconds? If so, guess what? You can do just that.

As you guys already know, the 2T10 set bonus is a 15% damage buff for 6 seconds every time Omen of Clarity procs. Omen of Clarity procs on just about every spell, and has a higher proc rate for spells that hit multiple targets. A spell like Gift of the Wild that hits 25 people will proc Omen of Clarity almost every time in a 25man raid. Therefore, you should be able to get a 15% damage buff for 6 seconds on demand for the low cost of 40s per cast.

This isn't something you would want to add to your regular rotation. GotW will still cost you a GCD and about 1100 mana each cast. Your normal DPS spells will do more damage then the buff will provide you, but it is a spell to consider while moving. Take Festergut for example. After you get Inoculated you have to spread back out. If you hit GotW while you are moving you are not wasting a GCD and you get a little buff in a fight that is largely a DPS race.

For the record, I have not tested this in the game yet, but I wanted to make you aware of the possibility. If this is not for you, or you don't want to spend the gold fair enough. In fact, it it becomes a widespread practice my guess is that Blizzard will change the code to prevent it. If any of you do try it out, let me know how it works out.


Val said...

I'm unsure of how to look at the new temporary fixes. In one light, fixing our current dps is definitely welcome. But being the cynic I am, I'm wary of blizzard deciding that these small fixes worked this time, why not keep balancing moonkin dps with small buffs to balance out the broken scalability of the class.

As far as gotw and 2t10, on a purely aesthetic level I don't like it. I had the same feeling about wise eclipse as well, but raiding is competitive, and it was necessary to maintain my desired level of effectiveness. The way the skills and 2t10 bonus interact, gift will obviously sometimes be a dps increase. In this way I see it much the way I saw wise eclipse. Aesthetically abhorrent, but necessary. And as far as the forty silver goes, the dps increase for any given fight (on average) will not be huge; in fact, it is looking like it will be quite small. The usage will also need to be very precise to see any net gain. If the gcd used for gotw could have been spent on anythign else productive, one gets a net dps loss. In this case I'd like to equate it to pre-fix weapon swapping for rogue dps. Switching for more instant procs is a small dps increase, but miss a swap back to deadly and let it fall off, and the dps loss offsets any gain from the extra instant poison procs.

TLDR: Pray blizz keeps the notion that these moonkin "fixes" are temporary, and will still fix NG with cataclysm. Gifting for 2t10 bonus is an incredibly ugly mechanic, but can be a net dps increase, despite a very large potential for dps loss if misused.

Anonymous said...

Surely on the likes of Festergut you are using Starfall everytime it is available which seems to always proc OOC and when moving for the spores you pop Typhoon which in my case always procs OOC as well?

Villainus said...

I've been capitalizing on the GoTW to proc my 2set for the two week's I've had the bonus now. It's now my 5th GCD option while moving, making fights like Rotface close to a 100% uptime for dps'ing.
Moonfire, IS, 60-second Starfall(because I provide the miss debuff for the raid), Typhoon and now GoTW are all on accessible hotkeys for easy use during movement.
It's important to know ahead of time how long you'll be moving in a single run, because using GoTW as your first cast is the most beneficial if you'll be following it up with DoTs and cooldown casts. They will make the most of the damage modifier.
I only have a single point in Moonglow and I don't have any mana issues in 10 or 25man when blowing multiple GoTWs in a fight.

Val said...

In the current state, I dont think anyone can seriously consider mana to be a problem on anything short of anub25h in a raid with below average aoe dps.

Megami said...

As a moonkin I have been surviving on crumbs for years. You may not be able to tell by looking at me, but it's true! I'll take what I can get. :O

Alaron said...

Nature's Grasp (and Barkskin, if you don't need to save it) can proc OOC as well, and are off GCD. I've been using those along with GoTW on my feral for a while. (admittedly, GOTW is less useful in feral since it shifts you out.)

Randomsmo said...

I've been using gotw recently (most significantly on Putricide) and it does seem significant. I used it 13 times (+1 before the fight) and that was never as part of my rotation - just times I had to move. Omen of Doom uptime was somewhere on the order of 34%, which is much higher then you would expect.

This definitely seems like it will be a good min-max tool once you get used to it - I made mistakes with it on Putricide (either moving and not doing it or doing it at a bad time) and as I get more comfortable I anticipate that going away.

Shilton said...

there is an issue with EaM and Ebon Plague bringer, and less important Curse of doom, this 3 spell do the same thing, but, Ebon Plague Bringer prevents EaM to be Rewrited on the target, been testing for a while, cause in the 10man group i raid there is a unholy dk.
so are we gettting this "buff" even if there is an unholy dk ????
try it out

Xaktsaroth said...

Shilton read tooltips a bit closer ;)

Your Wrath and Starfire spells have a 100% chance to apply the Earth and Moon effect, which increases spell damage taken by 4% for 12 sec. Also increases your spell damage by 1%.

The talent increase youre spelldmg with 3% , in next patch 6%, not the buff it self.
Also its not Curse of Doom its Curse of Elements warlocks can do to give the same buff.
Buffs does not stack indeed but they are designed so you can bring either class/specc a,b OR c to buff it. Does not matter for anyone of them who does it or the raid.

Anonymous said...

I can't read EJ at work.

Considering that moonkin soft-cap haste and crit rather easily, does that make Nibelung an even better option for us then the numbers indicate?

Even tho it's been buffed, noone in my raid will touch this with a 10 foot pole. We've sharded 2 now I think.


Anonymous said...

Apologies. Posted to wrong article. :)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had the pleasure of DPSing from melee range against Festergut?

My guild is heavy on ranged dps and since moonkin dps suffers greatly when we have to move (or while puking), the RL stuck me with the melee. OMG. Standing in place nuking the crap out of that dude is the only was to go for us. I went from ranging 4-6k dps on the outside, to 8k consistently. I also use the same strat on Rotface, and even though we are forced to move regardless, it at least lets you stand in place while his pipes flow.

I made an angry poo-poo!

val said...

I cannot say I have had the pleasure of dpsing with the melee group on festergut, due to being out of town and not being able to raid, but ive had the pleasure before, and hoping the RL will let me stand with the melee. Especially after asking me what i did just before the saurfang fight to jump from 5-6th edps to 1st :]. "I got to train the boss..."

val said...

have had the pleasure of dpsing without having to move at all*

and sorry for double posting to correct ambiguity in previous post

Mobus said...

While we're on the topic of increasing OOC procs, I owuld like to bring up that I read something very interesting int he Cat WWS forum on EJ on page 9:

Aparrantly, cats with moar haste seem to have moar OOC procs, which, prior to T10, OOC has been nothing moar than a mana talent for moonkins, however it has always been an important DPS talent for cats. Now that OOC brings moonkins DPS thanks to T10, and according to speculation by EJ that haste affects OOC, what do you think that would do to the stat weighting of haste? Is it moar valuable than crit after the crit softcap? Is this even enough to worry about adding to the stat weighting?

Anonymous said...

Graylo, just want to take a moment to thank you. Between the ill-conceived T10 (at least 2 pc) and a variety of other nerfs or adjustments and the rest, you have:

1. Remained unflagging in your support of Moonkin and being a positive advocate for the players to Blizz.
2. Kept your own personal view and outlook optimistic, which really does serve as an example to the rest of us who might be upset about the treatment of this particular Druid spec.
3. Taken your time as best you can to provide actual simulated and/or empirical analysis of the changes and presented the findings in a clear and concise manner.

I don't know how many folks actually take the time to thank you for this, but I thought I'd take a moment to do so. So: Thank you.