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
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.