Monday, January 18, 2010

Developer Chat on Twitter

The developer chat was short on new information and on details, but there were two comments that focus on Moonkin.

Q. Any plans on looking at balance druids, in particular to Eclipse procs? RNG
sometimes is detrimental to our dps.
A. We don't mind the RNG aspect that much per se, but losing an important proc because it happened at the wrong time (say just before you moved) is a problem. We have a pretty cool solution for Cataclysm if we can make it work. It makes Eclipse cooler but also gives Balance more of a kit in general.(
My Translation: Eclipse procs will still be based off of Critical Strikes, but the buff won't be time based.

So, if you're one of the people that hates Eclipse because you might not get a proc after 15 casts, then you might not like the change. It looks like that style of RNG is still going to be out there. If it bothers you a ton, then you may want to start leveling a new toon now.

Personally, I'm pretty excited to see what they have in mind. The part that intrigues me the most is when they say: "It makes Eclipse cooler but also gives Balance more of a kit in general." Obviously I am just speculating, but this line makes the new Eclipse sound more like an active part of our rotation, rather then something that tells us when to switch spells

If I had to make a guess, I think it will make the moonkin rotation look something like the Arcane Mage rotation. If you don't have a mage, Arcane Blast buffs you next Arcane Spell, but also increases the mana costs by 75%. So, Arcane mages have to balance their DPS against their mana usage. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Eclipse used a similar mechanic to force us to switch between Wrath and Starfire, but in a more predictable and less wasteful way.
Q. Both balance druids (moonkin) and elemental shaman feel like their dps is falling behind in Icecrown Citadel. Any damage boosts for these hybrid casters currently planned?
A. We have small buffs coming in the next patch. We'll see where they are after that when more encounters are open (including the hard modes) and once more players have tier sets and higher gear in general. We have no problem buffing them more if we need to. (src)

This is really just confirmation of what Zarhym said last week, but it is nice to hear it again. The best part of this comment is that they don't seem to assume this will settle the issue. One of the problems I've had with Blizzard in the past (mainly in TBC), is that they "fix" something and then seem to assume they are done. It's nice to know that they are at least paying lip service to making sure we are fine.


Erdluf said...

Of course the eclipse change could be as simple as

Solar: Increases Nature damage by 40% (making IS, Hurricane and Typhoon nice alternatives to Wrath, situationally).

Lunar: Increases crit rate on Arcane spells by 40% (save Starfall for movement during Lunar Eclipse?).

A more interesting change would be

Lunar: Current bonus, or allow SF to be cast while moving (without the crit bonus).

Solar: Current bonus, or allow Wrath to be cast while moving (without the damage bonus).

This would be very helpful for PvE fights with movement, and would be interesting for PvP (you'd still have to be a turret until you managed to get Eclipse).

Talsh said...

My thoughts for an eclipse change were something along the lines of buffing your next 7 starfires and 14 wraths, or something along those lines. Still RNG, but no timer. Doesn't seem like it's exploitable in PvE, but PvP might see some problems.

KFC said...

Exploitable PvP abilities don't always catch Blizzard's eye though, especially if the class isn't otherwise overpowered in arena situations (see, for example, lava lash/flame strike for Elemental Shamans, the interaction of which has been a PvP boon all expansion, but is still Blizzard's first go for Elem buffs).

As I see it, the biggest problems with Balance at the moment are not just the RNG dependence, but also the difficulty in fights with constant movement. Changing the timer component of eclipse would help both of these somewhat, in that we wouldn't have to waste a kindness from the RNG by moving, but it doesn't solve the matter completely. In fights with a lot of jittery movement I find stretches where it's hard to find time to cast more than 1 starfire before moving again, if at all, and sometimes it's even awkward to fire off a wrath or two. The problem is that so much of our damage depends on long cast nukes -- the 2pc t9 bonus helped us with this a little bit but our instant/movement cast options are still fairly inconsequential dots.

I like the idea of a buff that allows for instant cast SFs or Wraths, but I'm not sure how the "either/or" component would work out. Perhaps a better buff would be "your next x wraths/starfires deal y more damage/have y greater crit chance, AND are instant cast." Make x a reasonable enough number so that it isn't completely overpowered (maybe 1 to 3 for SF and 3 to 5 for wrath?). You could also keep some longer timer component to limit it a bit -- i.e., this buff lasts for 30 seconds and cannot be refreshed.

One other thought would be to make eclipse, rather than giving us instant cast starfires/wraths, allow us to move while casting. Or just generally allow movement while casting.

Megami said...

I like your ideas Erdluf. Having Solar effect all nature damage and Lunar effect all arcane damage would be awesome. I don't know how much the numbers would need to be tweaked to keep it in line though.

That being said, I think it would be sickeningly ironic if the threat of balance being too overpowered in pvp made them hesitate with balance buffs in general.

Brandon said...

I like the idea of making it a sort of weaving arcane mage. So your wrath (crits) leave a debuff that increases the damage of your next starfire spell by x% and the mana cost of wrath by y%. Each cast adds 1 charge, stacks to 5.

val said...

Well, I'd like to start by saying this is one of the best things I've heard in quite a while for balance. I find it hard now to believe that these small incremental buffs that do not address the core problems with our class will be considered an ample fix, and we will remain broken throughout cataclysm, giving us small buffs here and there to fix the monumental problems we face.

Second, I love the comments and ideas about mana use, and I would really like something like this to go live. The way we weave wrath and starfire is relatively mundane. I have always loved my arcane mage, and with moonkins ending long fights with 80% mana (while giving our innervate to someone else), I would love to see some sort of balancing act brought to the class. With the comments about healers and their mana use, I also think this is a decent possibility. I think my favorite iteration would be:

When you critically hit with Starfire, you have a 100% chance of increasing damage done by all nature spells by x% and its mana cost by y%. When you critically hit with Wrath, you have a 60% chance of increasing damage done by all nature spells by x% and its mana cost by y%. Each effect lasts a sec and each stacks b times. Both effects cannot occur simultaneously.

I think including all nature and arcane spells in the effects would make our dot/nuke interaction a little closer to most casters, not to mention fun.

Aeiedil said...

My thoughts on Eclipse are somewhat split.

On the one hand, Eclipse is directly responsible for the Crit soft cap. The fact that Wrath scales up damage during Eclipse but that Starfire scales up Crit makes that an issue. If I was to make a change to that right now then I'd be inclined to ask whether it's worth considering changing the Starfire benefit to being a cast speed increase.

This would make Starfire cast faster during eclipse, but not crit so much. If it was worked out correctly and against the current tier raiding gear then it could be done in such a way that a standing fight would see no net DPS change.

It would mean that in mobile fights we would be able to more easily get Starfires off while in transit during Eclipse. It would also effectively remove the crit soft cap, leaving us back worrying about just the hit and haste caps.

In an ideal world it'd be awesome to have Starfire casting on the GCD in the same way as Wrath does, but then you're back to haste scaling concerns.

Only other down side is the marginally lower mana regen from crits this change would bring.

Just a thought :)

What I expect they will do is make it so that the eclipse triggers a usable skill that isn't on the GCD trigger that we can hit to use the Eclipse effect. Maybe have it so that it can be overwritten, i.e. you have the wrath eclipse waiting to be used, but then decide to get solar eclipse up because maybe you're about to hit Heroism then blah blah blah :)

I could just be spouting gibberish of course :)

Mobus said...

I feel very very torn about boomkin at the moment. I enjoy caster damage classes more than any other class, not just in WoW, in D&D and other various fantasy games I've always preferred caster classes. However, last night I was told by my raid leader that, even though I am performing well for my class, that since moonkin DPS is not competitive, and that all the buffs I bring to the table are covered by our Elemental Shamans, Retadins, Unholy DKs (which is not the DK FOTM), all of which (minus the shamans) pull better DPS than I can, that I can't take up a spot on a raid roster. And reading this says that moonkins aren't going to get fixed until cataclysm. So my choices are to switch specs or reroll if I want a raid spot. I don't say this to QQ to my moonkin friends about how hard it is to be a moonkin, but I like to make the point that it is REALLY unfair to all moonkins that we will have to pay $15 a month to wait till cataclysm for our class to be competitive again. Never will I expect to be able to pull what our arcane mages pull. That's not what I feel I can ask for. All I ask is to have SOMETHING that makes moonkins valuable that will give us our raid spot without it being too much of a burden to the rest of the raid, and also that we shouldn't have to wait until cataclysm for that.

Mobus said...

arrrgh typo on last post, meant to say

"which is *now* the DK FOTM"

Aeiedil said...

Mobus, sounds like an uninformed raid leader tbh.

Moonkin DPS is competitive, just a bit below other specs on average but that is getting adjusted. The same applies to Warlocks etc.

If you want to look at some anecdotal evidence, on Putricide today I was finishing up in the top 5 on every attempt. The almost-kill we got (a few % before tank death) I was sat happily at top spot :)

Hardly the place for a class that deserves dropping from a raid just based on class. The class itself may need some adjustment, but no amount of adjustment can correct L2P issues or bad gear choices.

val said...

I think there is a large misconception regarding moonkins going around. Our class is broke, but that is 100% referring to the fact that eclipse just does not scale well with the current gear levels. This has nothing to do with dps and how competitive the class is. With below average gear for my raid, I just about always find myself in the top 5 of our 25s. It is true that on some fights our "DPS" will be fairly low, lower than one might expect. If this is all your raid leader is looking at, you should politely inform him he does not know what he is doing, and go on your merry way to find a more competent raid lead. A good example for tier ten content being marrowgar. Bonestorm requires quite a bit of running around, and the melee, along with a few select casters, wont be touching the boss. All the while, your DoTs will be ticking away. This will drop your "DPS" as it shows on the meters, since those that are not attacking fall out of the activity window, and their numbers do not budge. Your DoTs ticking away at below average DPS will drop your numbers, but you are doing damage where they are doing none. You need to look at damage done, or eDPS for a fight. So far, as a raiding balance druid, I have found no problems maintaining competitiveness when one looks where one should be looking.

MuiMui said...

Once again the same ol'thing "I'm in top five in my guild so Moonkin DPS is good !" or "I ended top on [random boss name here], Moonkin are imba~"

This is YOUR situation, gratz. But honestly, I have question your teammates' skill/gear. I can't really imagine a rogue/mage/hunter/etc. losing to a moonkin dps-wise.

Moonkins just are not competitive nowaday, for various reasons.
It is pretty common to be 1 or 2k dps behind, assuming you play with other people that know how to play/gear their toon.

It's the global numbers that matter, not your personnal experience.

"I'm on top spot with over 10% margin in my 25-man PUG, Nerf Moonkins !!11"

It's exactly the same.

Natha said...


But if Moonkins are able to top the charts in groups that successfully clear the content quickly and efficiently, then I would argue our DPS is good enough. I am focused on 10 man content and I am consistently a top-2 (sometimes top 3) dpser in groups that one shot all of the first four bosses with ease. I'm sure if I was decked in ilvl 245 gear instead of 232 I could do the same in 25 man.

Now if I was in a group doing acheivments/hard modes, I'd complain more, but I wouldn't say the other people in my group suck if we're able to clear the content quickly efficiently.

I guess what I'm saying is, in my view, "I don't do as much DPS as this class" is not as valid as "no matter what I do, my dps combined with the utility I bring to the raid is not good enough to clear the content."

Xstar said...

@ Mobus
You didn't mention anything about Spriests for hit debuff. Also, who doesn't want another innervate and Brez available? I have a bone to pick with Unholy DKs which are typically not competitve DPS except for AoE situations and there is only one fight with enough targets with large hp for them to thrive in that manner, Anub25 H. Time for them to return to Blood and make themselves useful with Abom's Might again, but its beside the point tho.

Sounds like your raid leader is indeed misinformed and if that is the case you are being limited by them. I am a moonkin of two years and I know we catch a lot of flak but what matters most is that you enjoy playing our unique and valuable class. Sounds like its time for a new guild who actually knows whats going on and stays current with more classes/specs. =)

Mobus said...

Thank you for all the responses :D


Please, take a look at some of the DPS rankings on WoL for 25 mans. I ASSURE you, if you were in a 25 man raiding guild in 245s instead of 232s, you would NOT be singing that tune. In 10 mans, I am CONSISTENTLY on the top of the meters on DPS as well. The problem exists in 25 mans. Our buff scaling is PITIFUL against other classes.


Yes, I forgot to mention spreists, however, I only forgot to mention it - we definitely have a spriest in the raid. As for innervates and Brezzes, restos and ferals bring that as well. I guess the trouble that I have here is, when every single bit of our utility is given by other classes, what justification is left for blizz to have our DPS so low? Of course our DPS isn't so low its stopping us from progressing, I CONSISTENTLY pull more DPS than our shamans, but, when it comes right down to it, what do boomkins REALLY have that no other class/spec has? What is it, when there's 26 people online, and 25 raid spots, what is it that stops boomkin from being the EASIEST spec to drop?

Blappa said...

When you people say that you are topping the meters, my question is what kind of dps are you and the rest of your raid doing?

val said...

I'm maintaining a competitive nature in a raid that is clearing icc25 wings the week they are released, and has togc25 cleared. The calibre of raiders that this group is composed of should be evident.

Xstar said...

@ Mobus

Ummm... Didn't you just say its buffs other classes bring and better DPS than at least one of them? Again there is nothing wrong with another set of Rebirth and Innervate being around, especially in progression content. Other moonkin here are getting raid spots so your situation, while not unique, applies specifically to you. Yes, I'm sure other moonkin are being sat but many are raiding too. Yes we share buffs but so do a lot of classes, thats why ICC isn't a raid of 14 resto shaman/holy priests like Sunwell. If you wanna raid as moonkin then do it, even if it means finding another guild and if you don't then you have that option too.

As far as something uniquely "us" I'd say we do a lot of pretty neat stuff. We have some of the most powerful AoE of all specs when talented, great for trash and add fights like Gunship, Kologarn and Maxxena. Not to mention Hurricane slows attack speed for affected targets. The 2 restos in my 25man have less SP than me (though they out gear me) so I keep Thorns up on all 3 tanks because every bit helps. We're the best of the 4 specs of druids to cast cyclone for things like mind control on Kel'Thuzad or Deathwhisper (which is better than something that can be broken at the slightest touch like repentance, sheep, wyvern sting, ect..., roots on Mimiron's bomb bots or any faction champion, other druids must shift form to CC. Also Typhoon is an awesome utility spell, I refuse to glyph it for easier adds on Saurfang, blasting scarabs off of healers on Anub, faction champions, adds on Freya, zombies on Gluth and countless other things.

Whether or not we do valuable stuff isn't in question I feel. If a marginal increase of overall raid damage is what was needed to clear a boss I'd say there were greater issues at play there.

Maker said...

First off, thank you for the informative blog. While I'm not a moonking (ele shammy), I still take the time to look for anything that may be helpful to my guildies.

As this thread has significant discussion about Moonkin output, I am wondering what is a reasonable level of output?

The two raiding moonkins we have are currently dead last both overall damage and dps. I do understand and expect them to take a significant hit as they're usually the ones called upon to brez people, and they do usually selflessly drop form to heal, but even on attempts where we 1shot a boss smoothly, they're still in the same situation. I believe they finished the fight on Saurfang (25) last night at about 4-4.5k dps and still in the same situation of being last in overall damage. Is that normal? Is there something I should be looking for to help them bring up their figures?

Thanks in advance!

Muimui said...

Asking for values is always tricky, a less than average output might be an insane output on another server or a ridiculous one on another.

As far as I am concerned, I'm hanging around the 15th spot of the meter, while doing around 8k.

Being top in my raid means 10k+, we are somewhere like 500th-ish worldwide so nothing too crazy.

The bottom line is, there is no way I can be competitive right now. Maybe with the 4T9, with a new cycle without DoTs or something, we'll see.

But right now I'm seriously considering going feral or else I might eat the bench when hardmodes come.

Muimui said...

I meant 4T10, silly me.

Forgot to answer Maker :

It's not uncommon to end dead last as a Moonkin, RNG and movement are deadly foes, as said above I can put out 8k+ but last week I ended with an infamous 5200 on Festergut. You get the idea.

As for helping your Moonkins, first check if they are in par with other Moonkins on the net for SF/W/Dots %, maybe they're doing something wrong.

You can also try to give them the IWONTMOVE spots whenever your strategy got some. It will really help (Festergut§§)

Giving some loots to narrow the gap ?
I cannot really advice you to.

Most if not all the stuff you might give them is a waste raid-wise, as any mage/lock/SP will get (way) more benefit from it, that's a (sad but true) fact.

Hope it helped

Anonymous said...

My DPS ranges from 6.5k-8k in 10 man and the same in 25 man.

I have NEVER been out of the top 2 in DPS and Damage done in 10 man and top 4 in 25 man.

I honestly don't see any PVE problem with Boomkin just now at all. I don't even see the buff to Earth and Moon as needed as it stand either.

I don't consider us to be OP I honestly think we sit exactly where we should sit in raids - I still kick out pretty much the same DPS/Damage in all of ICC 10 and 25 I have done to date. Movement doesn;t harm me like it did as I am more wary of where to stand, what to pop and when.

You can armoury me at

My gear isn't amazing but when you look at the top 10-15 ppl in my guild I am amongst them gearwise including Hunters and Mages that I can regularly out DPS. I honestly think that we are in a very good place just now and although I may be working a hell of a lot harder than the others to keep at the top end of the tables I am all the more thankful for it rather than being able to faceroll my way up there and get bored.

Anonymous said...

@ Maker

245 (mainly) gear'd moonkins should be around 7-8k dps. But, if you're asking them to off heal and/or move around a lot, it will significantly impact dps. Moonkins are best standing still and nuking. Festergut and Rotface kill my dps, but I was pleasantly surprised on Blood Princess. Even though movement is significant, I was able to still pump out about 7k dps. We one shotted it so I don't know if this will continue.

I'm running with 4T9, a 232 weapon, a spattering of 264 level gear, and still some 226 items and below (boots and trinkets). I'm hoping with this minor buff and better gear to get up and over 9k, but we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Gosh.. all this 8-9k dps talk is making me feel very inferior..

my /gs score is about 5.6k and wowheroes is nearly 3k and i do around 6k.. i am usually in a fairly average spot on dps for my gear in our raid, i do play in australia thou. and we have quite bad pings, on average. 3-400. i am on our perm raiding team, mostly because we bring the player not the class.

there is a much less geared mage from the US in our guild with sub 50ms pings often tops our dps.

i am still hoping for a buff next patch.. everything helps.

Anonymous said...

there is one more thing:
Q. You added Armor->Strength talents to discourage Plate from wanting DPS leather. Are there any plans to stop non-clothies from wanting Cloth?
A. Yes, we do have some plans.