Monday, February 22, 2010

Blue Posts Galore

There have been a few Blue Posts focused on monkin over the past week. None of them are huge but I would like to highlight them in case they have been missed.

Owlkin Frenzy:
I don't think Owlkin Frenzy would be a good area to buff Balance burst damage in PvP. It's very dependent on actually being the one focused. That almost by definition is not "on demand."

I also don't think it's a great place to buff them for PvE. There are fights without a lot of predictable raid damage, and void zone diving shouldn't be critical in keeping your dps up. (
src)

I agree with Ghostcrawler on this on 100%. I can't speak to it from a PvP perspective, but from a PvE perspective this is not a good option to buff moonkin. On a majority of fights it just does not proc enough to make it useful, and an increased proc rate is unlikely to change that. In the end it would encourage moonkin to take more damage and in general I am not a fan of that.

Even adding something entirely new to the talent isn't a good idea in my opinion. Since Owlkin Frenzy is not a standard PvE talent for moonkin, adding additional functionality to the talent would just cause bloat since we only have 2 spare talent points at the moment.

Glyph of Slow Wrath:

I understand the intent and it's clever in a way, but we would be hesitant to introduce a glyph that would actually be a bad glyph for players who weren't capable of benefiting from a bunch of haste. There are some glyphs with a kiss / curse vibe, but usually not this severe, and with a
curse that really isn't a curse when you consider that it lets you benefit more from haste in the long run.

It might make more sense if you tucked it away where only endgame focused players could reach it (like an idol that dropped off an ICC boss), but even then it would almost need a warning label explaining what it was trying to do. (src)

The original poster was making a familiar suggestion that Blizzard add a glyph to increase the cast time and damage of Wrath so that it was better able to scale with Haste. I know I have advocated for this solution in the past, but I am not as confident in it as I once was.The problem I with this glyph if that it creates couple of balancing problems.

1. What type of Glyph would it be? If it's a major glyph then we have to drop on of our current glyphs and it has to improve our DPS so much that we dont' notice's its loss. This may sound simple, but remember we each have different levels of Haste. Who knows how much the extended cast time will help our DPS due to more useful haste? In the end, a Major glyph may not be a buff at all. A minor glyph could work in my opinion, but I bet it crosses a line for Blizzard that they don't really want crossed. While you could make the glyph DPS neutral, the fact of the matter is millions of players wouldn't see it that way and would ask, "why do moonkin's get a minor glyph that buff's damage?"

2. I've spent the last 3 tiers of content avoiding haste when I gear up. A glyph like this would totally change our Stat Equation and would likely change how we want to gear our toons. At the very least it would mean we want to change how we gem. I'm not sure it is a good idea to so drastically change the conventional wisdom of a class mid expansion and definitely not mid content tier.

All of that said, I found part of GC's comments to be disingenuous. I understand a Glyph of Slow Wrath would be more confusing then your average glyph, but Blizzard has never had a problem implementing Glyphs that would be bad for some players and good for others. Take a look at the Glyph of Moonfire and Glyph of Starfire. These glyphs really only benefit end game raiders, but they don't have a level 80 requirement. I would understand if they said it was to hard to understand much like Armor Pen was to hard to understand, but to say that some people might use it incorrectly is not a good excuse in my opinion.

PvP Burst Increase:

The patch notes are not done. While, frankly, Tranquility is not something we're going to mess with, we do want to add more burst to Balance for PvP purposes. If some of that spills over into PvE for more damage overall, I don't think many druids would complain. (src)

I don't know how to feel about this one. We all know that Moonkin PvP has some issues, and I'm happy that what ever improvements they make may bleed over in to PvE as well. However, I don't want to get my hopes up. Ghostcrawler has said in the past that he thinks Moonkin burst is good for PvP but we lack that last little bit to finish a player off. What this tells me is that they are unlikely to change Starfire or Wrath to improve Moonkin Burst. More likely they will change Moonfire or possibly Typhoon. If that is the case, then it may have a very minor impact on PvE moonkin. We will have to wait and see what comes up.

Blizzard's View of Eclipse:

As I've said before, the goal isn't merely to get you to use Starfire and Wrath. The goal is to have a rotation that is more than just 12121212 or even 111222111222. RNG is something we actually want. The best players should be the ones who can pay attention and react to situations, not
the ones who can mash their keys the fastest (or download the most recent macros).

The biggest problems with Eclipse are:

1) It's too much of a damage increase. Here we see the problem with overbudgeted talents. The RNG wouldn't be an issue if the magnitude of those random rolls wasn't so huge.

2) It suffers too much from movement. Losing an Eclipse proc when you have to run is a problem, particularly given point 1. Now we have no problem with classes taking a dps hit when they have to move and we don't even mind of some specs pay a heavier penalty than others. But it's a problem when the delta between dps when moving and dps when not moving is so great. (src)

This isn't really anything new, but I think it is always better to hear the explanation form the horse's mouth rather then my filter. The two issues he listed are well known. I covered them in my post at WoW.com, and Murmurs and others have covered it multiple times on the forums. The big question is how are they going to fix it?

In my opinion we are unlikely to see any major changes to Eclipse until the Cataclysm is released, but GC's comment did give a small hint in what we are likely to see or not see depending on how you look at it. Ghostcrawler said "The goal is to have a rotation that is more than just 12121212 or even 111222111222. RNG is something we actually want."

In my opinion this means that Eclipse will aways be based on Crit to some extent. You may build up charges as you crit or something like that, but we are not going to get an ability were we can call for a DPS boost on demand with a cooldown. To be completely honest this is just a guess. I can't wait for the Alpha or Beta to see what they have planned.

13 comments:

Threa said...

I won't ever complain about our rotation because I enjoy it and it is a nice change from Starfire spam back in TBC. What I don't understand is that the devs implemented Eclipse to add more complexity to our rotation yet Arcane Mages (and a few other classes) do exactly what he stated: they press 11112, etc.

Why create a talent such as Eclipse, that has been nothing but a headache for the sake of adding thought to a rotation yet set a double standard and allow other classes to use a very simplistic rotation. It just seems like GC enjoys setting double standards when it comes to Moonkin, such as his stance on the Glyph of Slow Wrath.

Valr said...

I see arcane mages cited all the time as having an easy rotation. And I think that does the class a disservice. What sets apart the great arcane mages from every other one that spams ab4abam is mana control. Its knowing when you have the ability to chain six or seven arcane blasts together for that extra oomph. Knowing when you have to cut it back from 4 if AB procs. While the basic tried and true strict rotation will get results, its kind of like playing a moonkin and not stopping to consider that three seconds from now you will have to move, so you should wait to refresh your dot that just fell off.

On a more related topic, I am glad to see once again that the blues have acknowledged the eclipse problems. Every time I see another post about it I get a little more hope that we may have something really neat in store for cataclysm. As far as the burst for pvp, I dont really see an effective option for us right now without introducing a new glyph or spell, or something that blizz has stated they dont want to do right now. Changing owlkin frenzy to a cooldown has been mentioned a few times, and while an interesting idea, the talent would have to be changed significantly. Maybe a one minute cooldown for an instant wrath or a half-cast-time starfire, who knows. Again, thats a relatively large change that I think blizzard will be hesitant to make. The pvp burst issue is probably going to go along the lines of all the pve problems with blizz applying a bandaid that only half addresses the issue and saying thats as good as we can do until cataclysm.

Threa said...

I have an Arcane Mage that I've raided with for a while now and I hear the argument that mana control and mana cooldown use are what define a good player and a bad one, and although I agree, it doesn't add much to the complexity of the class/spec. To put it simply, the rotation and mana management is easy to maintain. People make it out to be a big deal when all you have to do is time your gems, mana pots, evocations, etc., and it takes very little thought and it translates into very, very good DPS with minimal effort.

Back on topic, I have to agree with Valr. I can't think of anything short of a new spell to help increase our burst. I've heard speculation that Typhoon or Starfall might be changed but they've gone through so many changes already; it makes me a bit skeptical to think they'll make yet another modification to them. I won't complain if they do though.

One thing I wasn't clear on when GC said they wanted to add more burst to Balance for PvP, was if he was referring to the near future or Cata.

Megami said...

Buffing Typhoon? Oh goodness, I never thought of that but I'm glad my little bubble was bursted now before I filled it with all of my hopes. I was hoping we'd get critting dots but we probably would have been mentioned with every other sub spec that now has it.

They really are stubborn about our play style being unique and special. It's best to set the bar low and be pleasantly surprised if a buff comes our way.

Hardy said...

Can we have a finish move like kill shot where we rip an antler out of our heads and impale the target? It really should be moonkin specific. You get to use it twice in pvp this way, and make it take 10 minutes to grow back or something. lol :)

Valr said...

@Threa The moonkin pvp burst comment came right after "The patch notes are not done", which makes me believe blizzard would like to get the change in with the 3.3.3 patch.

Mobius said...

@ Hardy OMfreakingGAwD that is the best idea i have seen i love it!

I would like a typhoon buff. "if target is affected by moonfire or IS, and is hit by typhoon,= kill shot"

Anonymous said...

Just 1 point about your minor glyph issues...

Pallies already have a minor glyph that increases their DPS vs. undead by 1%. So minor glyph buffing damage wouldn't in any way be unprecedented.

I know a lot of ret and prot pallies really enjoying this minor glyph in ICC.

Conghaile said...

I don't know how gross an impact it would have on PvP (or how much is too much according to developers) but I think the short-term fix for PvE is to buff Insect Swarm-- if the developers feel we need a buff at all. At higher-end gear, it has shown to be a very weak DoT, especially if left unglyphed (which it should be in my opinion if you're the only moonkin in a progression raid).

This would address two issues at once:
1) It would raise our overall dps, although this is not yet a developer-acknowledged problem.
2) It would lower by a bit the dps hit we take for moving, which is a developer-acknowledged problem.

One reason I think the glyph of slow wrath is a bad idea is that wrath is already a pretty powerful spell with the levels of crit we can now carry. Insect swarm, at least for me, has the lowest DPET of any of my other spells in any condition. Widening the gap between our nukes and our already weak DoTs seems like a step in the wrong direction to me, especially for movement-heavy fights.

Now there's a few ways insect swarm could be buffed: increase its spellpower coefficient (either directly or through a talent), give it the ability to crit, or alter an existing glyph (starfire, call it something new) to allow it to be extended by wrath (say, by 1 second each time up to 6 times). All these solutions increase the DPET of insect swarm.

I find especially appealing the third idea, but judging the immense value moonfire gains from extension (about 50% DPET over non-extended), it may be too much. It also does the least to address problem number 2 from above, since movement is a great opportunity to refresh Insect Swarm anyway. The second idea probably has too much burst, an undesirable implication on PvP. The first idea seems like the most digestable solution when considering the concerns of both developers and theorycrafters.

Bovismaximus said...

I agree with Conghaile - Insect Swarm may be a slight DPS increase when glyphed, but it could almost totally be dropped from our rotation without any major loss in DPS. For me, it does similar damage over the course of a boss fight as Starfall (I use the Starfall Glyph, not IS).

If IS was buffed in some way I think it would really help alleviate some of the DPS and scaling issues we are experiencing in ICC until they can fix eclipse in Cata.

korki said...

On a more related topic, I am glad to see once again that the blues have acknowledged the eclipse problems. Every time I see another post about it I get a little more hope that we may have something really neat in store for cataclysm. As far as the burst for pvp, I dont really see an effective option for us right now without introducing a new glyph or spell, or something that blizz has stated they dont want to do right now.

Viola said...

Buffing Typhoon? Oh goodness, I never thought of that but I'm glad my little bubble was bursted now before I filled it with all of my hopes. I was hoping we'd get critting dots but we probably would have been mentioned with every other sub spec that now has it.

monty said...

Just make Eclipse stop ticking down while you are moving, and start again when you stop. Of course there will be lag issues, but there always are, and in this case may go towards balancing it.